Finding the Worst Parking Spot Ever

There’s some convention in town, and the campus swarms with people in every direction.  I turn into my usual parking lot to find that there’s no parking on any of the lower levels.  I’m driving around and around the parking lot, whiplashed and frustrated. 

Finally, I’m spit out into the light of the uppermost deck of the lot (nobody wants these spots because everybody knows about the pigeons that assault your car with excremental gifts).

I pull into a spot far, far away, and as I walk through pigeon droppings, I look out over the valley (I’m that high up).

It’s gorgeous.  The sky is clear blue, and the wind whips across my face.  I take a deep breath and look out across the mountains in the distance. I actually stop right there in the pigeon droppings and gaze out.  I’m humbled and diminished by how small I am compared to this huge valley. 

I’m thankful for this particular inconvenience and this particular mess.  It’s beautiful up here, and I wouldn’t have seen it had I found a spot lower down.

Living with flair means I realize my missed opportunity might spit me out onto a higher level–the one that has the thing I’m supposed to see.

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Journal:  Is God in control of even inconvenience? 

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How Ridiculously Inconvenient!

I receive a desperate email from one of my best students.  He’s applying to this great new program, but the deadline’s been changed to tomorrow.  He has no choice but to beg his professors to write last minute recommendations. 

It’s a ridiculous inconvenience.  It’s exam week here.  I’m grading papers, posting grades, and barely keeping my head above the water.  Not only is the recommendation due now, but I have to stop everything, drive across town to my office to pick up the appropriate letterhead, write the narrative, and then arrange to meet the student to drop off the forms. 

What makes this one student’s life so precious, so important, that I would bother to do what I do not have time for?

I bundle up in my coat and scarf, pull on my gloves and boots, and brave the ice.  As I drive, it’s as if God has a message for me about the beauty of the ridiculously inconvenient.  God, after all, takes on the inconvenience of flesh, and if I think about it, Christmas is actually a celebration of radical inconvenience. 

A student needing a recommendation seems a small thing, really. 

I know, I know.  I’ve also memorized the quote:  Your lack of planning doesn’t constitute an emergency on my part. 

But what if it did?  What if I embraced being ridiculously inconvenienced for once in my life and made your particular need my current emergency? 

I’m smiling as a race into the English department.  It’s because the student is precious–profoundly so–and why wouldn’t I go to extraordinary lengths to help him move forward in the direction of his dreams? What makes my time more valuable than his? 

Years ago, I was that flustered student trying to meet deadlines, knocking sheepishly on my professors’ doors.  How many folks did I inconvenience on my journey?  How many emergencies did I bring into the laps of folks I needed to help me? 

Living with flair means I learn to embrace inconvenience.  The inconvenient things often usher in the magnificent, the life-changing, and the divine.  I felt myself transforming into the type of woman I want to be as I drove back home.  I did a ridiculously inconvenient thing for someone, and I knew it was full of flair. 

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