Everywhere you look you see the familiar signs saying, “No Parking Zone.” You see them everywhere. They are in front of hotels, hospitals and fire hydrant; bus stops and theatres. They are seen on bridges, in tunnels and on curves and shoulders of highways.
One of the most persistent warnings in traffic and in life is the warning of the danger of parking, of resting, or of settling down in off-limit, restricted areas. And yet people go right on parking where they should not, and paying the penalty for doing so. In traffic, the penalty is a monetary fine. In life, it is a little more severe. The penalty is an arrested development—a stunted personality—a narrowed vision—a limited life. Life is for growth, for movement, for development, for struggle, for progress. The life that becomes static becomes stagnant.
Don’t park by your failures.
Who is there among us who has never failed? I have failed and so have you. All of us know the askew taste of failure in some goal or aspiration in life. And oh, how tempting it is to park by our failure and say,
“What’s the use? I tried, I really tried. But things just didn’t work out, that’s all!” The greatest tragedy in life is not to fall down, but to stay down. The greatest disaster in life is not to fail but to park by that failure and say, “What’s the use.” We need to know that failure does not have to be fatal or final. It wasn’t to—
Charles Goodyear— it took 20 years of experiment, failure and error before success in the rubber business.
Abraham Lincoln—his political career was one long, dreary series of failures and defeats before becoming President in 1860.
Thomas Edison—experienced many failures before success in inventing the electric light bulb.
The Apostle Paul said, “My one aspiration is to forget what lies behind and striving to what lies ahead—I press on…” (Philippians 3: 13-14 (Amplified)
Don’t park by your handicaps.
Millions sit parked by some handicap—fancied or real—and consequently fail to grow, to develop, to achieve in life, simply because they don’t look like everyone else, or talk like everyone else, or walk like everyone else. They meet every challenge, every opportunity, and every responsibility with the sniveling whimper, “What’s the use— with my handicap!”
Well, what is your handicap? Don’t let it become a millstone around your neck. Instead, turn it into a stepping stone to success. These people did— Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, Handel, Milton, Homer, Louis Pasteur, Beethoven, Helen Keller, F.D.R., Fanny Crosby…and the list goes on.
Zechariah 4:7 (NIV) says, “What are you, O mighty mountain (of human obstacle)? Before Zerubbabel (with God’s authority) you will become level ground (a mere mole hill).”
Don’t park by your resentments.
We will not always be able to choose the changes and circumstances that come to us, but we will always be able to choose the attitude and spirit in which we meet them. We are not always responsible for everything that happens to us in life, but we are responsible for the attitude we take towards it.
Refuse to park by the calamities, tragedies and flip-flops of life. Don’t allow them to settle down in your heart where they can fester and sour. It is never what happens to us in life, but what happens in us that determines the final outcome. No amount of water can sink a ship—unless, it gets inside.
Surrender your life.
Surrender all of life’s hurts, heartaches, disappointments and unpleasant situations to God. He is able to help you through them all. There is victory for anyone in any situation of life when God is brought into the picture. He makes the difference.
“I will not in any way fail you, nor give you up, nor leave you without support. I will not in any degree leave you helpless, nor forsake, nor let you down, nor relax my hold on you—assuredly not.” Hebrews 13:5
Get behind the wheel of your vehicle and start driving! Move out of life’s No Parking Zones. You have God’s assurance that He will guide you on your cruise through life. His roadmap (the Bible), will guide you on your journey and help you to stay on course.
* This devotional was written by my Daddy, Pastor Bill Lobbs. He has since passed on, but the truth behind this message remains just as pertinent today, as it was then.