On Parking Your Car
By Jeremy Hausotter
Parking a car is an everyday event. People drive to work, so they must park their car. People drive to the store, to get coffee, eat out, etc., and so they must park their car. It is an everyday event and so uninteresting. It is something we do and we do not think about. After parking your car, it fades into the background and is forgotten for what you are about to do weighs more heavily on your consciousness.
We do not stop and think about parking our cars, except of course when we find someone else who parked their car poorly. Then we stop and think for a moment about a job done bad. For a brief moment the parked car arrests our consciousness before again fading away as we near our destination.
It was in such a situation I too stopped and thought to myself. Everyone has that coworker who parks horribly. Sometimes one is annoyed, peeved, and other times it's more of a “who cares” attitude, an indifference. Sometimes though, when someone poorly parks his and her car, he or she renders several parking places as “unparkable”. Normally it is two, but sometimes even three or four. A poorly parked car raises a particular question however.
For the car to properly fit into the parking spot, the driver must park correctly. He must park in an ordered way. How one parks his car is allegorical for the spiritual life. We are called to order our lives around Jesus Christ, to correctly park our soul in Him. We have to do this on His terms. When we try and park on our own, we are misaligned and take up several parking spots. We have to let go of ourselves and allow Christ to guide us.
We must actually practice parking our car correctly, for we are called to be excellent and to order our lives towards what is excellent. By practicing the little things, like parking the car or making the bed, we order our lives and analogously order our souls. In ordering ourselves, we in a small way participate in God’s ordering of the universe by directing our own lives in an ordered way. Failing to park one’s car correctly then is a disorder of the soul inasmuch as it is a disorder on the asphalt.
Part of Christian living is being faithful to the small things, the everyday details which seem so minute and insignificant. Each and every detail must be transformed by Christ, renewed in faith. Faith must interpenetrate our whole existence and how we live so that everything we do is radiated by faith, and parking one’s car is one small moment in our lives wherein we can precisely do this by offering it up to Christ.
Triumph of the Virtues by Andrea Mantegna