Monday, June 11, 2012
Thank God for parking meters...Say what?
Good morning, I pray that the day is finding you well. When I got here today, I was not sure what I was going to talk with you about. I went about my normal morning routine. I talked with staff. I talked with members. I checked in on people, and listened to their stories. I was getting ready for a meeting that I was going to have this morning with a friend. I left the “Y” and drove to my meeting. When I got there, there was a parking spot open close by, and it had one of those old parking meters, you know the ones that actually take coinage. I actually prefer the old ones to the new ones. There are few things more aggravating to me than to put in a credit card for parking. The simple act of putting a dollar or two on a credit card goes against my grain. Throw in the much too often-times-happening; I’m not really sure this is good English, in fact I am quite sure it isn’t, but it was fun to say non-the-less. Scanner malfunction, accompanied by the uncertainty that I am not being charged multiple times as I reinsert my card, over and over again. All the while wondering if some hoodlum is going to come up behind me, hit me over the head, and run off with my card. It’s the hitting me over the head part that worries me the most. I can always cancel my card, which is a real pain, but I can, so the hitting over the head is the real dangerous part of the deal. As you can see, I have many reasons that make me like the old-time parking meters. Even when the occasional meter is broken, I know it immediately and I can move my car, which is less aggravating to me than holding my card out for every Tom- Dick and Harry to see. I park my car in West Vancouver at one of those old-time parking meters, and what do I find? I find a little button on the side of the parking meter. I push the button; that is what buttons are for, pushing, so I push it. Low and behold, it gives me 20 free minutes. How cool is that! I am not really sure of the business plan behind the 20 free minutes; I am sure that there is an MBA out there somewhere ready to critique the whole idea, just as I am sure there is another MBA out there thinking, “Ingenious.” I did not go down any of those roads. I thought, “This is a wonderful blessing, a gift from the city of Vancouver to those that park downtown. I was talking with a staff member the other day and he asked me about faith, and seeing God. We talked for quite a while. I told him that it is easy to see God in blue Skies and puffy clouds. The trick is when you start seeing him in mud puddles, or parking meters. The definition of Grace is, “Something freely given, when there is no chance of obtaining it yourself and no possible method of repayment.” Believe it or not, that parking meter gave me grace. I bet if you look up the business plan for these parking meters the term “Grace period” is in there. If an inanimate object can bring grace to the forefront, I wonder what we could do if we gave it just a little thought. Blessings,