Joshua Graves
Exploring the Collision of Culture & Faith
Parking Spaces . . . and God . . . and Us
June 12, 2012

I can be pretty snooty in my theological assertion that God, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, the One who is all and in all . . . well, I don’t believe that God gives parking spaces to people who pray for it. Frankly, and I don’t have a scripture to prove this, but I think God has other things on God’s heart and mind. Yes, I think God is too busy for parking spaces.

Or lottery tickets.

Or making sure you get to have the prettiest dress at the party.

Or ensuring that your team will win the Super Bowl (that’s another discussion I’ve written about for FOX NEWS).

But . . . I also think God is mischievous. God likes to mess with us. Each time we believe we’ve got God figured out, God has this propensity to call an audible. “We nailed God down once,” says Barbara Brown Taylor, “and he got away.”

Here’s an example of God messing with me.

On a spring morning in 2006, I was the last person to board an early morning flight from Detroit to LAX. My seat, the last seat open on the plane (Did I mention that?), was in the very back right next to the rear bathroom. This is what happens when you change your flight last minute.

My open seat was in the middle (of course, no aisle or window) of a long row. Sitting immediately to my left was a devout Jew. I grew up in suburban Detroit, I know a Jewish man when I see one.

Opened upon his lap with a yellow legal pad . . . was a Greek New Testament. I, being the astute Protestant minister I was pretending to be, felt the irony of my Bible open to Genesis, while his Bible opened to the New Testament.

I couldn’t let this awkward, interesting moment sit there. I had to say something! So, I decided to just go for it.

“You are a Jew, reading the New Testament in Greek! Why are you reading the New Testament?” As these words came out of my mouth, I felt awkward. Had I violated a PC code of which I was unaware?

“Why are you reading Genesis?” he quickly replied. We had a good laugh.

He explained his calling, scholarship, trip to Passedena to lecture at Fuller Seminary . . . I explained I was on my to Pepperdine in Malibu.

We talked for 3.5 hours non-stop (and I hate conversing on the plane. I really do. Don’t tell me you don’t believe in the Spirit.) . . .

My friend, John, calls this work of God “divine sporadic meticulous intervention” (I might have the order of the adjectives off a bit).

This past Sunday, at Otter Creek Church, Rabbi Mark Kinzer, led our church family to the Jesus Table. You can listen to his comments HERE. Mark is one of the world’s leading scholars on Messianic Judaism. You can read about his work and life HERE. In terms of theology, he’s a LeBron (or Dirk or Durant or DWade). He’s blessed my life in incredible ways through his thinking and writing.

Because, once in a while, God creates a parking space, and ensures you drive right into it.

And, I think the whole time God is experiencing a belly laugh.

Labels: Uncategorized
4 Comments

I’m pretty sure God did give me a parking space…but only once, is that ok?

by Bari (Jun 13 2012, 4:25 pm)

Hahahaha. God can do whatever God pleases :)

by joshuagraves (Jun 14 2012, 10:44 am)

I wonder if God opens the parking space as a test to see if you will leave it for someone who may need it more than you.

by Phillip (Jun 16 2012, 7:29 pm)

Nice. Getting into the deep water.

by joshuagraves (Jun 19 2012, 11:45 am)
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