Recently I heard the story of a woman who was going through many struggles with her daughter and a ruthless, shrewd ex-husband was late for a meeting in downtown LA. Of course finding parking in such a big city is an adventure where the journey is not the destination, and the woman was panicked at being tardy to a business meeting with heavyweight clients. But miraculously a spot was open just in front of the office building she was going into. She began to search for change in her car to put in the meter but alas she had nothing but a cupholder with a handful of pennies. She sighed and decided she’d just pay the hefty parking violate fine, but as she walked by she saw the meter had forty-five minutes left on it – the exact time of her meeting. She walked into the meeting knowing God was reminding her not to worry and that he was safe with her.
If the Christian life were this way at more regular intervals I think’d we have more conversions. If God was giving out hook-ups to his people then why wouldn’t people want free parking and the myriads of other perks for being his follower?
Though it likely sounds like I’m critiquing the parking meter story, my question is really would God give that free parking to a non-Christian? Or maybe better stated – does he? Are there special benefits to being a Christian? Are there insider deals in the kingdom? I ask the question in a ridiculous way, but it’s an actual question I have.
I think God doesn’t discriminate against people based on their religion. After all lawyers are all over that stuff these days. As Matthew 5 points out sun and rain happen on both parties. Though I believe God is a servant I don’t think God is like a butler who goes around serving us with little divine hook ups. It’s a little more ambiguous and a lot less sexy, but I think God is in the delivering us from destruction business, not in the serving up small-detail hook ups.
It seems as though we easily turn the idea of God is in control into God controls all – and suddenly God seems more like a genie who lives to grant us wishes or a guardian angel. God loves us and is with us in the details, but I think I’m seeing he is here with us pulling the world out of the mud, not putting money into parking meters.
Are there insider deals for Christians? If so, what do you think they are? Have you thought of God as a genie or a guardian angel? Does God comply with government regulations about religious discrimination?