“May God bless you, and remember to be Christians in the parking lot.”
For several years’ worth of Sundays this was the closing line of the senior pastor at the church I attended. It was (still is actually) a pretty big church. Some might even call it a “mega church.” There were always a lot of cars in that parking lot.
The first time I heard the pastor say this I giggled…much like the other newbies in the crowd that day...but then we filed out of the sanctuary and began the battle to get out of the freaking parking lot and on the road safely! Insanity!
Even after an hour-plus-long worship service it seemed that many were unclear on the concept of “being a Christian.” All the trappings of courtesy and common sense seemed to vanish as the masses maneuvered their 2,000 pound assault vehicles out of parking spaces and into the lanes of traffic headed toward the exits. It was behavior more suited to a rock concert venue than a Church Parking Lot.
There was no mercy – even for the elderly and handicapped. After several hair-raising Sunday 'adventures' we took to enjoying a cup (or 3) of coffee while waiting out the parking lot melee.
It has been many years since I've had to endure a Sunday morning in a "Christian Parking Lot". That's a long story worthy of its own post...perhaps some other time.
Tonight, I was reminded (and not in a good way) of those dodgy Sunday mornings as I drove past one of the rather large churches in my neighborhood (there are a few). Someone leaving the church parking lot rudely cut someone off and then turned right on red when they did not have a clear lane.
It was the moment they careened toward a near-collision that I saw it. The brand-new bumper sticker, affixed to the rear window of the car, identifying them as a member of the aforementioned neighborhood place of worship.
I've endured entire sermons devoted to the concept of “walking the walk” and behaving yourself - especially when you have stickers/emblems/signs on your vehicle that ID you as a “Christian”. These sermons implored the faithful to “set a good example” for the World to follow. The person I saw tonight, obviously, has not had the benefit of one of those sermons. Such a shame.
As I continued down the road toward completion of this evening’s errand I had to giggle to myself. There was a very good reason I never put one of those “fish symbols” or “WWJD” stickers on my car(s) over the years…I didn’t want to *HAVE TO* behave myself if some asshole cut me off on the freeway! I know, I know, it's twisted logic...but it's my logic.