Most places I’ve lived have only required a a single, solid, 4-inch line to separate parking spaces.  I’ve never noticed that to be insufficient to guide people safely into a parking spot.  But, in Coral Springs, FL, a single line isn’t sufficient.  We have boxes  – approximately a foot wide – to separate one parking space from another.  I would think that would be excessive.  An uneccessary waste of space.  I mean, licensed drivers ought to be able to navigate a parking space, oughtn’t they?

But, to my daily dismay, in Coral Springs, FL, there is an epidemic of line violation and parking encroachment.  Every day, I see cars parked over the lines – WAY OVER THE LINES – as though the lines are merely a suggestion or a target.  It would seem that you are just supposed to park somewhere in approximation to the designated space, not actually inside the lines.

I see it everyday!  Come on people!  It really isn’t that hard.  Get in the lines!

I wonder if that might be the purpose of Lent.  Jesus has taught and demonstrated a particular way – a path, if you will – of living in the Kingdom.  The lines really are pretty clear most of the time.  Read the Bible.  Pray.  Sabbath.  Tithe.  Serve.  Love.  Forgive.  Share.  Be holy.  Seek God.  Don’t sin.  Etc.  Just keep it in the lines.

The lines aren’t meant to overly-restrict our lives.  They’re meant to protect us, and to give our lives much-needed focus and direction.  The lines are good and wise guides for Kingdom living, and avoiding danger and pitfalls.  The lines are meant to help us avoid wrecks, and to keep us out of ditches.

But, if I am honest, I stray over the lines – to some degree – everyday.  If I’m not careful, my spirituality can get kind of sloppy.  The lines between my kingdom living and my worldliness get blurry.  My best intentions get sidetracked by the daily grind of going through the motions.  Some times, I get distracted, like drivers on their cell phones, and accidentally stray over the line.  Somedays, the rebel in me wants to cross the lines, so I do…

Lent, I think, is a time to honestly evaluate how well we keep our lives in the lines, and how far and how frequently we have parked our lives catty-wampus to the godly space God intends.  Yep – we get catty-wampus, way too catty-wampus, and Lent is meant to help get us back on the straight and narrow path.

Wide is the path that leads to dents, dings and scratches on the sides of my car – and my soul- but reasonably narrow and clearly marked is the parking space that leads to the Kingdom.

Let’s keep it in the lines, people!

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