Parking Ticket

Thursday, May 28, 2020
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Loves Me This I Know"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 139:1-3 – Lord, you have tested me, so you know all about me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know my thoughts from far away. You know where I go and where I lie down. You know everything I do. (ERV)

In early February, I had just left an art store with supplies to make earrings when I saw a city parking officer put an extra coin in an expired meter rather than write a ticket for a battered old car. Her small kindness made me appreciate what a hard job she had, probably often being yelled at for just doing what she was paid to do.

On the way home, I decided that my first pair of earrings would be for female parking staff: a tiny ticket for one ear and a meter for the other. But I needed a model for the ticket. Searching the gutter, I discovered one torn in half where someone had thrown it, never in a million years thinking that it might end up being immortalized in the ears of parking staff. As soon as I got home, I sized it down with a photocopier to an inch long and half an inch wide, and laminated it.

The staff told me later that they immediately took the earring to a photocopier and blew it back up to full size. With the details, they were then able to issue a second and more expensive version, reserved for those who ignore their first summons. I hadn't foreseen how things might go. I could only imagine the surprise on the face of the one who was sure that he'd just torn up that ticket and thrown it away.

Ripping up tickets is a refusal to deal with life on its own terms — an exercise in futility, because parking fines must be paid. The devil is in the details. When Christians procrastinate in dealing with difficulties, sin, and sinful habits, it can lead to paralysis. Other folks get hurt when we put off for some future date what God has given us to deal with right now. It is the small things that we sweep under the rug that grow and rankle. Out of sight, out of mind, we think, but when we fill up our "nows" with "laters", they quickly turn to "nevers". Then, we are in a mountain-out-of-a-molehill situation, and nobody gets anywhere mountain climbing on a molehill. We must not sneak around looking for a way out; we have to deal with what is right in front of us to do — now!

Psalm 139:23-24 – God, examine me and know my mind. Test me and know all my worries. Make sure that I am not going the wrong way. Lead me on the path that has always been right. (ERV)

Prayer: Dear Lord of all being, we give You our wills to obey as we walk in Your freedom. May the living of our lives attract others as Your life is grown in us and us in You. May our behaviour, especially in the small things, point to what You mean to us. Strengthen our weakness as we accept the teaching of Your Spirit, shining from Your Word. In the name of Your Son, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rose DeShaw <>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Beautiful! Blessings.

    Thanks for the good word, Rose.

    So true, Rose. Thanks for writing.

    Being present, rather than perfect… right on! Thank you!

    Good one Rose!

    Thanks, Rose, for sharing this devotional with us. Blessings.

    What a good story! And I learned how to make my own earrings too!!

    Well I didn’t see where that story was headed! Well written with a good lesson. Thanks.

    Always enjoy your posts so much, Rose. Great stories that are so relevant to leading a Christian life. Blessings to you!

    Dear Rose,
    Another wonderful message.

    Hi Rose
    Thanks, this was a good devotional. Neat idea about the earrings!!!
    God bless.

    Out of sight, out of mind, we think, but when we fill up our “nows” with “laters”, they quickly turn to “nevers”.
    Thanks for sharing Rose.
    I have been blessed by this devotional.
    Procrastination indeed is the thief of time.
    God’s blessings.

    Dear Rose,
    What a heartfelt devotional and uplifting reminder, that during sunny days and stormy days, we always have the privilege to let the Light of Jesus shine brightly. Your kind gesture will surely blossom into a beautiful garden and spread many seeds!
    Blessings from your Sister-in-Christ.

    Dear Rose,
    Thank you for this interesting devotional. I just imagine the surprise that ticketed person had getting that follow-up ticket. What a great thought you had in reproducing the ticket as an earring. Great talent! Yes, it is so important in life that we follow the path our Lord lays out for us. Truly that is the right and best route to follow.
    Blessings to you and keep up your unique earring hobby.

    Good morning Rose,
    What a good lesson, my nows do turn to laters on occasion. In all my whole life I have always been a ‘get with the program” type person, but since we are house, or at least yard, bound and I am starting to run out of things to do I have a new slogan, “Don’t do today what you can put off till tomorrow.” That way I have something to look forward to doing tomorrow.
    Thank you for your good words and all the best to you and yours.

    Dear Rose,
    What a funny – and apt – story! It sure got my attention! More than that, though my procrastination – this time – wasn’t due to dread of facing something difficult or unpleasant, it did prompt me to stop putting off something I had kept pushing off until later. I took your line ” . . . but when we fill up our ‘nows’ with ‘laters’, they quickly turn to ‘nevers’ ” to heart and took action on something today. I’m all too good at pushing something aside until it is completely forgotten and never gets done. This devotional is a great example of producing action through timely words. Thank you!

    There are so many teaching points to this story that my mind boggles…
    1) the grace shown by the officer who paid the fine.
    2) the opportunity you seized to think of a creative way to show gratitude
    3) the meticulous searching by the other officers, to make sure the person didn’t get away with it a second time.
    4) the lesson in avoiding procrastination, which has the tendency to diminish responsibility for an action
    5) God’s “Amazing Grace” over all these pitfalls and snares!!!
    Thank so much for this rich example of living faith,
    (BC Canada)

    Rose, once again you are a treasure God has tucked into my day. I thank God for your faithfulness and pray that your ministry be blessed.

    What a beautiful and a, so true, devotional!! It spoke to us when we realized how late our response was to you!! Thankfully, we only went from “now’ to “later” and didn’t get to “never”!! It is so easy to go all the way!
    In addition to benefiting from your thoughtful messages filled with biblical teachings, your devotional always puts a smile on our faces. Your life has been so enriched with love, faith, and humour that it would make a wonderful autobiography and gift to your friends and family! I know, you have heard this before!

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