I’ve been driving for more years than I’d care to reveal, but it wasn’t until I moved to the great frozen north that I learned about winter parking.
By winter parking, I don’t mean the complicated calculus-like formulas that you have to use to figure out what side of the street to park on in the city. (Let’s see, on odd days that have a vowel after the third consonant, I believe I park on the south side after 2 p.m. and before 3:18 a.m.) I mean the winter parking that should be easy — the kind where you pull your car into a lot that has snow on it and park without being able to see the yellow lines.
I just had no idea how difficult that was for some people. Sure, they can battle gnarly rush-hour traffic and make it to work safely day after day, but parking without lines? That, apparently, is too much to handle for some folks.
For years, I’ve secretly made fun of those people, the ones I affectionately describe as line-dependent. But this winter, I felt a tiny pang of guilt, followed by a thought that insisted on worming its way through my brain: What if I’m like them?
Sure, I’m a confident enough driver to figure out how far to park from someone else’s car, but there are other times — when I can’t clearly see or feel God in the way that I’m used to — that I just freeze up and don’t know what to do.
God may have walked with me through miles of troubles and mountains of grief. But the instant the snow falls and blurs my view of things, I suddenly forget how simple it is to park between the lines. I forget to have faith and to trust what I know is true.
I guess I could handle it the way I do in my car: leave enough room for others; be careful not to hinder anyone from coming or going; try to be a good neighbor; and believe that warmer days will come and the lines will still be there if I need them.
Marketta Gregory is a former religion reporter who now shares her own journey of faith with readers. She lives in Rochester, New York, with her husband, their three young boys and one very vocal Pomeranian. To contact Gregory, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to her at P.O. Box 12923, Rochester, NY 14612. You can also visit the Simply Faithful page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter at @MarkettaGregory.
Marketta Gregory: In trying times, trust what you know is true