A few weeks ago I was driving into my new gig as Adjunct faculty at Montclair State University. It’s been a couple of weeks now and so I have my regular routine. I know my driving route to the campus. I know which parking lot I’m likely to find parking. It’s become regular. Taken for granted. I’m accustomed to it. But this day was different.
I made it to the campus on my usual route, but as I turned into my parking lot I noticed no free parking spaces. The only other lots available were closer to the campus, more popular, and most likely full. Ugh. I drove towards them anyway. Aware of the doubtfulness I was harboring. To make matters worse I found myself driving behind another vehicle. I assumed they were looking for a parking spot as well. Could there be two free spaces? Highly unlikely.
I kept driving. As I entered the lot I took a different route than the car in front of me. I found myself guided towards the front of the lot. Could there really be a free space this close to where I needed to be? There it was. In between two SUVs and a 6ft snow bank I squeaked my compact car into a space. Lesson learned.
If I hadn’t been pushed out of my regular routine on this day I would never have experienced this favor. A single spot, at the closest parking lot to campus, located in the corner of the lot closest to where I needed to be.
The questions began. What other regular routines are keeping me from experiencing favor? What assumptions am I holding that are not true? What habits have taken root that do not point to life? My list is long. It can be hard to look at. But the first moment in the process is the gift of awareness. The vision to see what is must be removed/changed is a gift. The strength and courage to act upon this new vision is a gift. The awareness of our past works, the process of growth, and our future responsibility, is covered with Grace lest we find ourselves crushed by the condemnation of our missteps. This – all of this – is Love.