I parked my car in front of a restaurant, ready to run in “for a quick second” to get some take-out. There was a parking meter.
Should I pay the quarter? After all, I will only be here for a moment.
I thought about a question I ask when sharing my faith: “Have you ever stolen anything? Have you ever taken a cookie, a pencil, a paperclip… too much time on a parking meter?”
I wrestled with God.
I will only be in there for 4 minutes. I don’t need to pay a quarter for 4 minutes! Surely God wouldn’t mind…
“…too much time on a parkiiiiiiinnnnnggggg meeeettttteeeerrrr?”
Dang! I couldn’t get away from that question. I was stuck, conscience stricken by the eighth Commandment—His unchanging, permanent, moral law: “Do not steal.”
“Have you ever stolen anything?”
Opening my ashtray, I grudgingly dug out twenty-five cents and reluctantly—bitterly—dropped it in the meter to pay for my 4 MINUTES! of parking, then went inside the restaurant shaking my head.
I paid the bill, tipped the cashier, and picked up the bag of food all within a lousy 4 MINUTES!, opened the door to exit… when suddenly I saw—the meter maid chalking my tire!
She then buzzed on up the street hoping to catch some other scofflaw wanting to save two bits.
I’m no thief. And God just saved me 160 quarters—in parking fines.
—you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? —Romans 2:21