The Parking Lot
I love shopping. Don't you? Lately I've been on a makeup kick. I'm like many women who watch a million tutorials on how to be your own personal make up artist. Guilty! So, makeup is my thing now. These little bags are everywhere. The perfect way to the perfect purchase is perfect parking. It's essential. You have to find the best parking space possible to optimize your experience. It's IMPERATIVE!! (Haha!)
This is how I see life too. A crazy shopping trip. I tend to compare life to a giant parking lot. The door of the mall represents the “good life.” Everybody wants to get a close parking spot because it gets you to the door faster. Hello…who doesn’t want that?? If you happen to find a bunch of stuff while shopping, who wants to carry it a mile to the car? Not this girl!! So when you see the “good life” as the door and the “parking lot” as your access to the door, of course we all want the quickest way to it. Trust me, I am guilty of driving around ten minutes waiting on someone to move out of a space closer to the door. The time it took me driving around could have been spent shopping if I would have just pulled into an available space. Ugh! Oh the dilemmas of life; proverbial and literal. Sometimes we just have to take the space we are given, get out and walk to the door and do the doggone thing we came to do.
This happens when we pull into the parking lot of social media too. Looking at social media starts out fun. The longer we stay there it ends up causing stress, costing us peace, sanity and money when begin to compare our lives to what we see. It’s funny how we never questioned our back row parking space in life and how far we had to walk until we had to pack all the unexpected baggage our trip to Perfectionville on Social Media Island produced. Our space in the proverbial "parking lot” was just fine until we compared our space to others.
When I hear the phrase “prime parking” I think of front row parking; the space everyone wants. Prime Parking is sometimes reserved. I see social media as this enormous parking lot where everyone wants to be front row too. To me, it is equal to an easy access to the windows of success in life, not the door. Did you catch that? Windows are only for looking into rooms, not entering. Keep that in mind. Social media only allows us to see into the lives others. It doesn’t give access to actually walk into lives.
We forget that the parking lot of life has a million spaces and no matter where you park, you still have access to the entrance because it’s open to you regardless! Your access to life isn’t limited by where you park. Your access is only limited by the path you take in order to get to the door. We don’t have to get prime parking in life to be successful, blessed, heard or taken seriously. We simply need to find a space, pull in, get out and walk to the door.
Take note as you go through your day browsing the lives of others. You mainly see the best pose, staged or edited versions of life. When you look, you don’t think that way. You automatically start comparing. Even if your life is good, you still compare. We all do it. Don’t! It’s easy to feel that others are more equipped or have what seems to be a better life than we do. All that happens in a swipe and a scroll.
It's Your Turn
Whenever you begin to think that way, go check out 1 Samuel 16:1-13. Basically, Samuel was sent by God to anoint the King of Israel. Samuel was bummed Saul didn’t work. God was like, “Aye! How long are you going to pout for Saul? Get it together, man! Get your horn, the oil and head to Bethlehem to see Jesse and ‘nem!” 1 Sam 16:1 (- SIDE NOTE: that was how I pictured God talking, but you know the Bible was a little more proper, hehehe. I’m paraphrasing because God and I have a relationship like that (wink, wink) Back to the story!) Samuel told Jesse that God had chosen one of his sons to be King. Samuel was in their figurative “parking lot.” Each son had a space. Some of his boys were flat out VIP/Reserved spaces that looked like a King. In 1 Sam 16:7, God blew Samuel’s mind:
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (NIV)
Boom. There it is. It took seven sons before the youngest, David. He was in the field, his assigned space at the time. David came in, God gave Samuel direction, and David was anointed. He went from the back lot to VIP, just like that. He could’ve easily compared his space to his siblings, had FOMO (fear of missing out) and maybe missed his calling to be King.
Let’s be like David. Let's stop comparing our lives; complete what we're assigned, when and where we're assigned to do it. God will do the rest. Our purpose is patiently waiting on us to pull in and park.
Do you peek into the windows of social media?
Are you waiting to pull into your parking space of purpose?