I’ve seen it happen so many times, but on this day…I couldn’t let it go. Just seconds before me, a shiny luxury car (brand will remain undisclosed to protect the innocent) zipped into the parking space. You know the one. It’s labeled “customer with child” and has a cute little picture of a momma and her two kids in the shopping cart. I stuffed down my desire to get angry but couldn’t help but be a little baffled that she took the spot and a little more baffled that she cut me off to get it.
She jumped out of her car all by herself and wiggled her cute little self up to the store. It was a long walk- you know, 10 yards. I parked in the back and loaded my 4 kids out of the car, armed for the trek up to the store. In my heart, I had a little pep talk and reminded myself that I chose to have 4 kids and I love them and wouldn’t trade them for the world. I reminded myself that no one owes me a closer parking spot even if it is labeled for moms like me and the parking lot is a busy and dangerous place to be wandering.
The shopping trip went as planned. You know, we spent too much money on not enough food. The kids were rowdy, but no one harmed anyone or knocked over a display case of wine…so the trip was a considerable success. Until I went back into the parking lot. I saw the spot and the shiny luxury car once again, as I watched the store employee load Barbie’s groceries into the trunk, the anger and entitlement raged back into my heart in a wave of furry.
I started thinking about how much I deserved that parking spot. I reminded God that I was actually there first and that there was a sign telling her not to park there. I whined about how difficult it is to shop with 4 kids every week by myself. Didn’t I deserve something?
I was so furious when I got home that I decided to write a blog post about it. My goal was to inform that world as to what those parking spots were for. I just needed a picture to complete my post, so I googled it. What I found was a gold mine of articles about “customer with child parking.” I was excited over the possibility of finding someone who would relate to my outrage. The excited wilted quickly when I read that most of the posts were written by people who resented the space. The writers claimed that the spots were not legal permit-required spots and therefore they should be ignored. “Park where ever you’d like”, he declared.
My heart sank. Really? Is our society so shallow that we require a legal fine to be considerate to others?
That blog post was getting longer. By this point, I was determined to declare this injustice against us poor moms. Until the words washed over me. He/she thinks she deserves that spot, too. Right or wrong, they also feel entitled to the spot. So who is justified in their entitlement?
Ugh. How I hate that moment when conviction makes ugly what only moments before seemed so right. God gently reminded. I am entitled to nothing. Neither was Barbie in her shiny little luxury car. Neither was super-jerk who wrote that post. We are all guilty of selfishness. We are all helpless in a pit of our own depravity. Neither of us stepped back long enough to think about the other person and technically- none of us was entitled to that spot.
Are you guilty, too? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my days to be filled with me. I want to strive to think about the needs of someone else first. So I’m giving up those closer parking spots. I’m not taking the largest bathroom stall when I’m alone and don’t need it. I’m not getting mad when someone doesn’t put me first because, afterall- I probably did the same to them.
I’m purposing myself to think about how I can serve others in the everyday…even if I “deserve it.”
Your turn~What is something that we can do today to serve someone else?
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