A few days ago while I was at work a lady came in with a small piece of paper that she wanted copied. It said parking violation across the top, had a space to fill in a license plate number, make, model, color, and other normal ticket type information. At first I just figured it was some sort of private organization like a mall or shopping center that was handing out tickets. But then I started to read the thing.It started out: “I don’t have the authority to write you a real ticket, but if I could I would write you two…” It got progressively more hateful, rude, and insulting down to the last line: “…may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits”. I wish I was making this up, but this ticket was very real and it may have been the most hateful, spiteful, and disgusting thing that I have ever read – and it was all directed at someone who had double parked.
I got to thinking about it. For somebody to double park takes maybe 2 seconds of consideration (ie. I’ll park between the lines so that nobody hurts my new car) and 10 seconds of execution (parking your car). Is it rude, self-seeking, and inconsiderate? Most definitely. You are putting your desire to not get a scratch on your car over the needs of others to park. It reflects a certain personality perhaps, but let’s face it; at the end of the day, it is not that big of a deal. This lady, however, does think it is a big deal. Big enough of a deal to take a minimum of 30 minutes writing and designing this ticket, driving to her friendly neighborhood Office Max, and spending money to get this thing copied. Finally she stashes her stack of “tickets” in her car and waits. Lurking. Ready to pounce on the first car that even touches that white line and deliver her own personal brand of justice.
This week a good friend of mine said” “If sin is a room, what if I die and I’m still inside the room?” I reminded him that we are all, always inside the room. We are mere men: totally depraved, completely and thoroughly incapable of doing anything that will change God’s mind about how wicked and evil we are. Maybe I didn’t kill anybody this week. Maybe, I didn’t break any laws or disobey my parents. Maybe, I didn’t look at porn or lust over that cute girl in the short shorts. Maybe, I didn’t double park. Yay for me. But just because your sin isn’t as obvious as a car that is double parked doesn’t mean that you don’t have the disgusting heart attitude that it takes to put a fake ticket on the car that is double parked. My goal isn’t to hate on the lady that printed those tickets, its to remind you (and myself) that we are all just as bad as she is.
“We are mere men, without Jesus – totally depraved, completely and thoroughly incapable of doing anything that will change God’s mind about how wicked and evil we are.”
Ready for the good news?
Jesus died for your sin. In fact not only did Jesus die for your sin, but he lived a sinless life, and in his resurrection and from the dead and ascension into heaven, he has imparted to you the rewards of that perfectly lived life. When God looks at you, he doesn’t see you as the filthy creature that you are; he sees you as if you had lived a life free from sin. And here is something that most people don’t realize; you don’t have to do anything to make yourself better. You don’t have to clean up your life before you come to him. He’ll take you as you are, and he’ll make you new. He can heal your deepest wounds, and he will change your life.
“When God looks at you, he doesn’t see you as the filthy creature that you are; he sees you as if you had lived a life free from sin.”
I have learned, that there are a thousand ways you can try to live “your” life, and I can promise you that none of them will make you happy. This lady has tried to heal her own wounds by putting tickets on the double parked cars that have wronged her. But she’ll be back in my shop in a few weeks looking for more copies of more tickets that she can put on more cars. It’ll never end.
You can’t fix yourself so hand yourself over to the savior who can.
If you have any questions about Jesus, the man who died the death that we deserved, then please email us.
I just want to say one last, and completely unrelated thing. This post is more about what I have been learning this week, and less about what I think of this lady, double parkers, or anybody else for that matter. I’m not perfect, God has been gracious enough to show me that, and to show me how much I need him. This post is the result of a million little things that He has used to teach me this week. And I’m so thankful for a God who is in control of all things and can use them to teach even a thick skulled man like myself.