Driving in Circles
Over a decade ago, my childhood dream of living in Chicago became a reality. Though I became a Chicagoan by residency, I was still a Texan in my heart.
Despite my dull and boring life, I absolutely loved the city. I hadn’t made many friends. I divided my time between work and home. I didn’t even have much of a social life, but I still loved the city. Didn’t always like the way people drove, especially when they honked their horn if you didn’t move the very second the traffic light turned green. But there were crazy drivers in Texas, too, so the driving really wasn’t that big of a deal.
My first apartment was located in a section of Hyde Park where there was nothing more than other apartments, condominiums and assisted living communities. Parking was extremely scarce. Some buildings had garages. Unfortunately, mine didn’t. Other buildings had limited parking spaces for rent. There were about seven fortunate people in my building who could proudly say they owned a parking space. I was not one of those people. I had no other choice but to park on the street. That was not always fun.
A major benefit to being a teacher was that by the time I got home on a school day, most of my 9-to-5 neighbors were still at work, so I a nice selection of parking spaces from which to choose. However, finding a spot on weekends or evenings was challenging, to say the least.
One night, I returned home rather late because I had gone to conference at my church. Kenneth Copeland was a guest speaker, and I figured it was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I simply didn’t want to let slip by.
I got to my apartment at 10:38 pm. There was absolutely no where to park. So I what I did every time the place was packed: circled the block. In fact, the same exact thing had happened a few days before. Under normal circumstances, a parking space would become available as I got back to my apartment, but there was nothing normal about that particular evening.
After circling the block several times, no parking places had opened up. It was after 11:00 pm, and I was tired and extremely exhausted. All I wanted God to do was give me a parking space, so I could go upstairs and get to bed. But it wasn’t happening. I just kept going around and around, covering the same ground, going in circles. It was horrible. My exhaustion and tiredness morphed into frustration which quickly gave way to tears.
I was literally crying out to God and asking him why he wouldn’t let me park my stupid car and go home. All I wanted was some rest, and he wasn’t letting me have it. Another twenty minutes had gone by and I was still hunting and searching for somewhere to park.
Suddenly, it hit me. Maybe God was trying to get my attention. Maybe He wanted to teach me something, but I was so focused on what I wanted that I couldn’t see what He was trying to show me.
I drastically changed my tune. I took a deep breath, humbled myself and said, “Lord, what is it You’re trying to show me through this? What am I missing?”
As soon as those words were out of my mouth, a parking space opened up. Though the space was a considerable distance from my apartment, I was extremely grateful.
As I walked to my apartment and road up the elevator, I had plenty of time to think. I suddenly understood what God was trying to tell me.
Every child of God is on a different path in their Christian walk. What one person is learning is vastly different from what another person is learning. Nevertheless, both people can be progressing quite nicely and growing in the faith.
However, there are many times when we only appear to be going places in our spiritual lives and walks with God. To those who are watching and carefully observing us, we appear to be spiritual giants, men and women with mustard seed faith that can move the largest mountains. They perceive us to be prayer warriors and people who worship God in spirit and in truth, but the truth of the matter is this: we’re simple going in circles.
We attend church services, participate in small group meetings, head to prayer meetings, stay at revivals all night, rearrange our schedules to attend conferences, speak at conventions, go to seminars, sign up for retreats, and involve ourselves in all manner of events designed to help us get a word from the Lord. Unfortunately, none of that matters. In fact, it really does us no good because as soon as we leave that event, we go out and do the same old thing we did before stepping foot in the event. We keep covering the same ground over and over and over again.
We must make true changes within our hearts, humble ourselves, and allow God to have full control of every aspect of our live. That’s the only way to get a “parking space” in the kingdom.
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