This question crossed my path that I just had to explore because I think many of us experience this. The question, which was asked to my dad recently, was (somthing to the affect of) “Is God involved in our day to day life and if so, how much?”
Many times I’ve needed to be somewhere and I waited too long to leave to get there. So of course I was running late and started to hit all the red lights. If I had enough faith could I ask God to help me get to where I needed to go? Would He snap His fingers and make all the lights time out right so I would hit the green lights?
Another manifestation of this concept again involves your car. And here’s the question we all want to know. Does God save us parking spots? When we’re having a particularly stressful or busy day, does God save us that perfect spot right in front of the door? Is God’s primary concern for us that our lives are convenient? Is He an enabler of poor time management and self-centered living?
First let me say that I’m not saying God NEVER saves parking spots for us or turns lights green. He did, after all, part the Red Sea to save the Israelites. But I think the times we’re hoping for divine intervention, we’re more likely victims of poor time management or personal choices – as opposed to being chosen to liberate a nation of God’s people and in need of an escape route.
I think there is a certain mentality behind these kinds of thoughts. I think this kind of sentiment reveals a person’s experience of God. Perhaps it’s an immature or even hedonistic view of God. A toddler has not concept of Mom’s scope of responsibility and life – of the immensity of things on her mind and the stress of life weighing on her heart. As far as the toddler is concerned, the only thing Mom has to be concerned about is ME. On the surface, to say God saved me a parking spot suggests that He has nothing better to do than make life more convenient for us. But wait. Isn’t God loving? Why wouldn’t he save parking spots for all of us?
I don’t think God works out little life details in order for us to satisfy our self-serving desires. Do you think God worked it out that I would have just enough change to buy my coffee this morning? My coffee in which I have an addiction (like many of us, even though coffee addiction is perfectly acceptable – discussion for another post) Do you think God landed me that job so I finally can make enough money to buy that flat screen TV? Or back to my first paragraph – should God help me not be late getting home to my stressed wife and 3 kids because I wanted to watch a few more YouTube videos? Do you think God works out the details so we will be worldy prosperous and have all the luxuries, entertainment, and conveniences we want? (that’s a dangerous road to go down – discussion for another post!)
Now, having said all that, again, I’m not saying God doesn’t give us parking spots. God feeds the birds and clothes the lillies (or something like that). Why wouldn’t He be paying close attention to our every move and trying to work things out for us? But I am saying, God isn’t a genie who sometimes decides to make good fortune come to some and others not.
Here’s the bottom line for me. God takes care of those He loves and those who love HIm. I believe if I am living in obedience to Him (as in, I try to know what He wants me to do and try my best to do it), and I am in an ongoing awareness of His presence with me, then I will have an idea of when He’s getting me parking spots and parting traffic for me to drive across on dry ground. If I desire to do His will then he will resource His will being done. If I screwed up or was irresponsible or live an excessive lifestyle, I shouldn’t try to use God as a bail out. I should own up to my own actions and natural consequences of them. Like, watching extra YouTube videos will make me leave late and get home late and I deserve what’s coming to me from the stressed wife who’s dealt with three kids all day.
Perhaps we’re missing those opportunities God creates to discipline us (teach us and build our character) – like, if I need to learn patience, or am a little chubby, maybe He actually saved me that parking spot over there. No…waaaaay over there.
What about you? Does God save you parking spots?