Thursday, September 24, 2009

Genuine Connection of Just a Coincidence?

Peace and blessings,

August 28th, around 9am: I park in downtown Berkeley to attend a staff meeting at a nearby cafe. I put a certain amount of money into the meter, thinking that I would be done with the meter and back to my car by the time the time expired. I was wrong, lol. I received a parking ticket.

Same day, around noon: I park near the building that I work in (I normally would park in the building's parking lot, but at the time it was full. I put a certain amount of money into the meter, thinking that I would be done with what I needed to do in the building and be back at my car before the time expired. Determined to not have what happened this morning happen again, I left the building with what I believed was enough time to get to the car before the time expired. Again, I was wrong, lol. As I'm walking to my car, I noticed the meter officer leaving my car. I stop him to tell him that I'm here so I can move the car. He told me that there's nothing he could do once the ticket has been processed. Thus I received another parking ticket.

The question posed in the title of this post has less to do with whether or not the two tickets are connected or a coincidence, and more to do with whether or not the two tickets are connected to what I read before leaving the house that morning, or if the whole thing is just a coincidence. That morning, the devotional reading was the book of Job. Today marked the first day of a series of devotionals around the life of Job.

What was going through my mind that morning was not only the extent of Job's suffering and trust in God in the midst of his suffering, but how important Job's story was at the time (and now) to people's understanding of the nature of God and of our relationship with him. Basically, there was a prevailing idea at the time that if you're living good it's because you are "good" in God's sight, and thus He was blessing you. If you are not living good, then God is punishing or passing judgment on you. The book of Job changed that, as it focused on the suffering of a righteous man whose life was pleasing in God's sight. The book of Job showed that both the righteous and unrighteous experiences trials in world, and that people's relationship with God (and Jesus) is not based on how good one's life is at the moment, but on our appreciation of and reverence for how good God is ALL the time.

With regards to the question posed in the title, my position is clear. I believe that there is a connection between me beginning to read the story of Job and receiving two parking tickets on the same day (for one, I rarely drive to work and two, the last time I received multiple tickets in the same day It was due to me taking the GRE in 2005). Although I know there is no way my frustration with getting two parking tickets could hold a candle to a tenth of what Job went through, I think that the moral of the story is the same: no matter what the day may throw at us, we must always praise God and be thankful for His love for us.

What do you think? Have you recently had day or series of days when nothing seemed to go right, or something went wrong and really frustrated you? How did you respond? Take care, God bless, and speekonit...

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