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Posts Tagged ‘stingy’

On my last flight home, I arrived in the Atlanta airport early enough to jump on the flight an hour prior to my scheduled flight.  “Now your backs probably won’t make it until your scheduled flight” the agent said.  “Do you still want me to book it?”  I paused only briefly before saying yes.  I figured I could eat supper in the airport restaurant while I waited for my bags.

We arrived and sure enough the bag did not.  However I hadn’t counted on all the restaurants being closed.  As I headed to my car in the economy parking lot my dilemma was how to pick up my bag when I came back without having to pay an extra parking tab.  Now as silly as this is to say, this was a big deal in my mind.  I saw an airport employee and mentioned my concern.  She told me surely the officer who monitors the pull-up parking area would be understanding and let me zip in and get my bag.

A Chic-fil-a sandwich later I arrived 10 minutes before my bag was scheduled and I parked in the “Absolutely No Unattended Cars” area in front of baggage claim.  I quickly ran in to verify that my bag hadn’t arrived, which is hadn’t.  I also looked for but didn’t see any police officers.  I waited in the car until I saw people begin streaming out with big roller bags and I realized my bag must have arrived.  As I hustled back to the door I saw a large, very observant policeman constantly scanning the cars at the door.  As I tried to scoot past him he said, “Is there someone in your car?”  I’m just running in to…  “Is there anyone else in your car?”  I’m caught and I know it.  While I am committed to the truth I have to admit the thought zipped through, “Say yes and you can probably run in and get the bag before he knows any different.”  Instead I began “No, but I…”  “You can’t park here.  You have to move it.”  But where am I to park?  “Pull into the parking garage. it’s only a dollar.”  Aaargh – that’s NOT what I wanted to do!

Admittedly this sounds so silly now, but I was angry.  I have to admit I gave the guy one of my best, steely glares…  Okay maybe it wasn’t that intimidating, but it was shouting my displeasure.  Of course it would only work if he would make eye contact which he never did.  He was too busy being observant and watching for “parkers and leavers” such as myself.  I pulled away mad, but immediately the Holy Spirit started correcting me about my attitude.  I turned on the radio as I pulled into the parking garage right next to the baggage claim.  Not surprisingly there was Focus on the Family interview in progress where the husband was explaining how the Holy Spirit had helped him see the error of his ways in being a-less-than-understanding husband.  Aaargh again!  Can’t I just be a little angry about not being able to rush in and get my bag.  I walked briskly up to the door which took an entire 45 seconds.  The Holy Spirit was beginning to get through as I realized it was only a dollar and I WAS trying to break the well-intentioned rules.  Of course I then spent a little mental effort casting blame on terrorists and I still thought the officer was rude, so I didn’t even try to make contact as I walked past him into baggage claim.  (I really showed him what happens if he is rude to the paying customers.)

It took me all of 20 seconds to find and pick up my bag and I was right back out.  While I was feeling good that I was finally heading home, I was beginning to feel some regret for my thoughts and even a few of my actions… the old steely glare, while not noticed, was really a bit rude.  By the time I was pulling out of the parking spot and figuring out which way to the exit, I had to admit the police officer was only doing his job, I was trying to break the rules, and it didn’t really cost me much time.  I was moving toward contriteness as I pulled up to the booth to pay my dollar.  I handed the woman my ticket and a five.  The guy on the radio was still explaining in rather humorous terms what a dolt he had been (somehow it sounded vaguely familiar).  The woman in the parking booth smiled sweetly at me as she handed me my five back and said.  “You get it all back.  There is a 15 minute Grace Period so nothing is owed.”

Okay Lord, hit me with a two by four, I think I get this one!

My daughter recently put in her blog how she desires to go beyond just controlling her actions and reactions to having her thought life under control.  I can identify with that desire.  I know that I have made progress in submitting much of my life to the Holy Spirit and there has been transformation, but as this painfully true story illustrates I still continue to be challenged.  I doubt I am alone but I am determined that I will press on until every thought has been brought into submission.  Two scriptures come to mind as I wrap up.  Romans 12:2  “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  This is my step 1.  And when I do slip up I go to step 2 – Philippians 3:13  “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

God has created a grace period in this life for us to benefit from.  Thankfully the Holy Spirit is persistent, loving and kind.  He wants to meet with us, to relate to us, to live IN us.  I encourage you to live large in God’s grace today.

Have a blessed day.  God’s peace in abundance to you and yours.

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