Pride and Parking Accidents


If you commute a lot like I do, then it’s possible that you’ve, at times, thought about your own mortality. Or maybe it’s just me. 

I got in a car accident today. Okay, “car accident” is a bit of an exaggeration. What I mean is, while I was parking, I sort of made contact with another car. I would like to say that it was very tiny space in a full parking lot, or that I was parallel parking downtown with people behind me honking, or that I was a little jittery because I was rushing to the hospital with my sick grandmother in the car. I would like to use one of those excuses, but that’s just not what happened. What happened in reality was kind of pathetic. I just felt a little tired and I wasn’t paying attention. I just didn’t turn the wheel enough, I’m not sure how else to explain it. Isn’t that kind of funny? 

I didn’t think so at the time. I was pretty stressed out and shaky. I agonized over the “note.” I was on the phone with my parents, and after talking to them, I only became more frustrated because I felt that they weren’t seeing things in the right way. I was downright mad, not so much because of the “accident,” but because I didn’t see God taking it and making a good thing like I’d hoped He would. All I saw it doing was making me angry and uptight. 

But all this time, in the back of my head, even if the thought didn’t translate into words or actions, I was thinking, “Why is this really a big deal? Okay, so I screwed up a little. So it isn’t going exactly the way I want it to. But what’s the big deal? No one’s hurt. There’s no reason my lack of depth perception didn’t get me into more serious trouble, besides that God is merciful. What are cars? What are insurance rates? What does it matter! I am still alive at this moment! And even if something worse happened, even if I was in a car accident caused by a meteor shower which was so bad that three interstates had to be shut down, awful as that would be, God would still be God! I know it sounds a little callous, but it’s true. Bad things happen in the world, but God is still there. He is always watching. I know it’s easy for me to say. I live in a world where paint scratches are a big deal. It’s not hard to imagine that God sees things like that. What, however, do I know about the deep dark corners of this globe where unspeakable things happen? Where is God during those things? I won’t presume to know why those things are happening. Yet because I have faith, I can say that God is everywhere.

I did find this humbling in a way. I now have a parking phobia, and a heightened sense of my human limitations. Lord, I pray that you would allow this to humble me more. Being too comfortable, being prideful, is always dangerous. Even if it doesn’t have the obvious consequences.  








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