Two things happened today on my way to work.
The first is an ongoing issue in my condo complex. Right outside my unit is a large v-shaped speed bump. The curb after this speed bump (and nearest my unit) is painted bright yellow, marking it as a no parking zone. Yet, over the past month, a frequent overnight guest of a neighbor continually parks there, probably because it’s more convenient to get to her friend’s house.
The problem with parking there—beside that it’s a no parking zone—is that because of the location of the car, the speed bump, and the layout of the parking lot, it turns our street from a 2-way street to a 1-way street.
But, instead of thinking about others and assuming the rules don’t apply to her, the driver parks there several times a week and usually overnight.
Then, as I was sitting on Rosa Parks, about to turn left onto Broadway in downtown Nashville, I looked across the street. The oncoming lane of traffic is actually divided into two lanes there. One that goes straight, and one from which you can turn right onto Broadway or go straight.
And a massive pickup truck sat there at the red light, straddling both lanes, while smaller cars attempted to edge past him to the right lane so they could turn onto Broadway and not damage their vehicles in the process.
I get that we all have rights and freedoms. What I don’t get is when exactly we became so entitled and self-focused. My neighbor’s friend parks in a no parking zone because it’s most convenient for her, even though it is ILLEGAL and inconveniences every other resident. This pickup truck driver can straddle the lanes because his truck is huge and nobody can do anything about it. He has the right, so why not exercise it?
I know today that I’ll deal with the same thoughts. What’s easiest for me? What’s most convenient for me? Why shouldn’t I say that remark that isn’t helpful, encouraging, or edifying? It’s my right, isn’t it?
When those thoughts and feelings come bubbling up, I’m going to make a conscious choice to choose to push them aside. I’m not the most important person in the universe.
Lord, help me to serve others today, even if it means inconveniencing myself.