(Disclaimer: this post was first published in my old blog 5 months ago. I guess it’s both a sharing and a reminder that God cares for us even in the smallest of irritations that we have. )
I was looking for a verse that described how I felt yesterday, and this was what I stumbled upon:
“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability”
2 Peter 3:17 | ESV
Yesterday, I went to a mall with my small family. I was the driver. We got into a parking lot, and because slots were full in the covered parking, I decided to wait at a certain spot, covering the bases of a certain row, and taking that slot where the first one leaves. My head lights were on “hazard” (both blinking), to signal my wait.
I saw a few people approach a certain car that’s about a few meters in front of me, and I knew they were about to leave, when this Audi arrived, and somehow blocked my way to get to that slot. And so when this car left, the Audi took the spot. And I was like, “what the???”
The common and usual courtesy in waiting for parking slots was “first-come, first-served.” At least that’s what I lived by since I started to drive. When I go to parking areas that are full, and see another car with blinking headlights, I let them take the first spot that gets emptied, because they’ve been waiting a bit longer than I was.
So imagine my irritation when this driver of a 2-door Audi (*NT_-7__, yeah, I know your plate number) just took that spot. I remembered what the driver looked like when he left his car. I really took note of that smirk, as if telling me “I’ve outsmarted this lady driver.”
To add insult to the injury, an old box-type Mitsubishi showed up behind me, and I guess the driver saw the whole thing happened, that when I didn’t take that parking slot (how will I, the Audi beat me to it!), he assumed I was actually just waiting, and then went ahead and took the parking spot that got emptied a few meters behind me.
By that time, we were already waiting at least 20mins for a parking slot. I already circled that parking area a few times, and always missed the spots that got emptied after I passed by before I decided to stick to a row and waited there. So imagine my frustration when these two, who arrived after me (I noticed them when they entered the parking area, because I knew they’ll be competition, and boy were they really.) got to park first.
I got frustrated and started to cry, and just belted it out on God. I was like, “Lord, I am so mad… I’m sorry Lord, but I’m really mad.” I guess I cried because of 4 things: 1. I was frustrated that 2 drivers got ahead of me in parking; 2. I was frustrated because I should’ve been able to park before they did; 3. I was frustrated because we’ve been waiting a while; and 4. I got angry with the Lord, yes, because of a simple parking space.
And so, when I saw the verse I shared above, instantly I thought of the “Lawlessness” of the Audi and Mitsubishi. And how I somehow lost my “stability” in trusting the Lord in even the smallest concerns of my life. Yeah, parking is a small concern, yet I let the irritation get to me.
When I was looking for a verse to relate with you, my search terms were actually “bible verses about children showing maturity,” because at that time, I felt that my daughter was being mature and reminded me who I really was. I wasn’t a hot-headed driver who gets irritated by drivers who didn’t get the memo about parking etiquette; I was her mom. I lead worship. I sing worship songs. I (try to) write blog entries when God has a message He wanted sent to other people through me.
So she said, “Mamee never inis?” Inis is a Filipino word, Don’t know the exact English translation, but it’s synonymous to being angry, or slightly irritated AND angry. And when she says, “never,” she usually means “no/not” or “no longer.” At that time, it felt like she was asking how I was, because she saw how I reacted.
After a few more minutes (I think we were close to 30mins waiting), I finally got to park, but I was still tearing up, that while walking, the almost-3-year-old was still asking me if I was okay, because she was also mentioning that I was crying and stuff. So I just said that I was already okay.
After hanging out for afternoon coffee and doughnuts, the toddler did #2, and so I had to change her nappy. On our way to the customer lounge, I saw the Audi driver (with a smirk), and somehow, he looked familiar, like he attends the Feast or something. But at the back of my mind, I was like, “the nerve of this guy!”
Then I remembered the talk last Sunday (when I led worship) about small irritations and the gift of Gap. Seeing the driver reminded me of my parking frustration, but I was somehow relieved that I gave myself the gift of Gap, because I was already thinking about scratching that car out of irritation, but didn’t. Hahahaha!
After this long recollection of what transpired in what only seems a few minutes of my time yesterday, the only and simple message is this: let God take over even the slightest irritations in life.
Especially when these irritations happen in front of impressionable children. Remember whose these irritations are, and whose You are. Our identity is first and foremost in Christ, that we should not be “carried away” when witnessing or experiencing first hand, the ways of other people that go against our values, and not let them cause us or others any harm. And always remember, there is a God who cares so much about us, that He listens to our pleas, no matter how small or even significant these are to us.
By the way, I realized, if that guy was a Feaster, I could’ve gone out of my car and go to him to ask if I can take the parking slot. I bet he would’ve understood if I told him that we’ve been waiting a while already. Right? 😆