My largest client is located on the 16th floor of a building in downtown Dallas. Needless to say, I now spend a little time in Dallas. While we were checking out the view of the streets below, I thought of this object lesson.
What does God’s view of our lives look like?
Of course, anything we can offer is pure speculation. But it is safe to say that His view of our lives is much bigger than our view. I often think about how complete of a view He has of my life. From my birth til my death. It is but a blip on the radar (James 4:14). Just one among billions. But yet I am infinitely loved anyway. This is so amazing to me.
As I peered down from my office window on the 16th floor, I took notice of a public parking lot located just below. Now, this is downtown Dallas which is a very busy place. Parking is a precious commodity unless you don’t mind walking a few blocks to get to your destination. The lot below me is a coveted one as it is situated between several office buildings.
Now from my perspective, I could see the entire lot. I had a clear view of every car in every space and everyone pulling into and out of the lot. It seemed to empower me. As this one particular white sedan pulled into the parking lot, I could almost predict his future for I knew there were no vacant spaces left in the lot. From where I stood I saw every space filled and no one leaving. But the poor guy driving the sedan had no such knowledge, so he pulled into the lot anyway. I watched him slowly navigate the aisles desperately searching for a place to call home for the next few hours. Finally, as I had predicted, he realized there was no space for him and he pulled out of the exit.
Many times we struggle in life trying to find our place only to be disappointed. However, like my vantage point in the high-rise, God has His eye on you. He knows when you are searching. If only I could’ve communicated with the man in the white sedan! I could have guided him and led him because I had a better view. I could’ve cared for him. The cool thing about God’s vantage point is that He can and has communicated with us. We just need faith enough to listen to his guidance.
As I continued to watch the busy lot, I noticed spaces becoming available and some of the antics of the drivers. It was especially interesting to watch the lack of concern these parking lot denizens had for their fellow drivers. For example, at one point the lot was full and this huge pickup truck entered the lot looking for a place to park. After driving around the lot in frustration, the driver just decided to stop his truck right in the aisle directly behind vehicles which occupied spaces. He proceeded to get out of his vehicle and walk into one of the office buildings. His mannerism revealed his frustration as he slammed his car door and marched in. My thoughts went to the owners of the three cars he had just blatantly blocked in.
Then I realized… I’ve been that guy in my life. Things don’t go my way and I get really upset at my situation so I just check out and obfuscate the responsibility. In those moments I’m only concerned with my well-being and my needs, completely forgetting the fact that I’ve just inconvenienced others or caused problems for someone else. All the time our Father is looking down and seeing me in my own self-importance neglecting the well-being of others. As I shook my head at this gentlemen I thought of how my heavenly Father must feel when I let my own self-interest hinder my brother’s.
Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
– Philippians 2:4-5 (NLT)
There were so many metaphors flying at me from the streets this day it was hard for me to actually get my work done. I could tell of people trying to fit into spaces too small for them, people taking up more space than they needed, people walking all over the lot looking for their vehicles, and even a guy in a trailer who somehow thought he could find room. But I’ll finish with this one.
At one point, a guy in a small blue car came flying into the lot and was obviously late for something. Now bear in mind this lot is not free to park in. There is a payment kiosk in the middle of the lot where you type in your space number and pay the parking fee. But this guy comes flying into the lot and doesn’t even bother looking for an available space. Instead, he parks on the very end of the first row, in essence creating a new space. The lot wasn’t designed for this. His vehicle barely fit there so the person in the legitimate space next to him would now be unable to open their car door. Obviously, there’s no number for this space, so the guy doesn’t pay. He jumps quickly from his car and runs across the street into a bank building totally ignoring the traffic and the crosswalk.
Yes. Sometimes I am this guy. The guy with a total disregard for righteous living. Ignoring the warning signs and again disregarding others to fulfill my own needs. Sometimes I’m so hung up on my own problems and busy life, I let the importance of those things control me instead of becoming the sanctified individual I’ve been called to be. This guy probably had to just run in right quick and thought no one would catch him. No one would notice his disregard of how he was supposed to act. Little did he know that I saw his infractions. Are we this way? Just a small lie? Just a slight disregard for someone’s feelings? No one will notice or care? Again I couldn’t help but feel guilty as I shook my head at this man.
Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for the grace that covers me in those moments. It was hard for me to have any grace in my heart for these inconsiderate parking lot drivers… I can only imagine how God must feel. And yet, to know that His infinite grace reaches me anyway blows me away.
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
-Romans 5:8-11 (NLT)
I wish I could’ve reached down and told these guys that I was watching. But how would they have responded? Justifying their own actions I’m sure… for that’s what I would do. Perhaps some of them would’ve been angry at me for not warning them when they pulled into a full lot. Sometimes it helps to look with bigger eyes. Our view of life is so narrow and myopic. Let’s not forget there is a God’s eye view in which our Father sees us. He knows our end from our beginning. He knows what is best for us even when we don’t. He is aware of every poor choice you make and why. Ultimately it makes grace even more amazing when we realize just how much He sees and how He was still willing to show us mercy through Jesus.
So as you circumnavigate the parking lot of life… try to look with bigger eyes. And know, no matter how insignificant or frustrated you feel, He is looking over you.
What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
– Matthew 10:29-31 (NLT)