Orange paint scratches

I really didn’t know what to do for her. She looked lost and I don’t think that having me watch was helping a bit.

It happened the other day as I was pulling into the Whataburger parking lot. The entrance had two lanes, both had large arrows painted on the pavement, indicating entrance only. On the other side of the building, there were two lanes, also with large painted arrows on them, indicating exit only.

The woman trying to back her car out of the space closest to the street. I noticed her immediately because she was backing out to exit via the entrance lanes. Her exit planning was more complicated because another vehicle (driven by a gentleman) was also pulling out to exit via an entrance lane. And, so I waited. I didn’t know what either driver was planning and I sat tight. The gentleman was taking his time pulling out and so I turned my attention to her. She was in big trouble. As she backed her car out slowly, the right front side panel was being crushed by a large, brightly colored, orange, iron post. She stopped, drove forward and then began backing out again with the same result. The post had not moved and again her side panel crumpled as it gave way to the stronger object.

She saw me and I was embarrassed at being caught watching her. What I wanted to say was “if you back out the right way the post won’t be a factor at all and you won’t have to explain to your family why you have a crumpled front panel.” But, I realized my presence wasn’t helping her and so I made a quick dash to the drive in lane at the back of the building.

As I thought about her, I remembered a favorite line from an old movie, “Because I am older than you are and I have more insurance.” The line from the movie made me smile, but it really doesn’t reflect reality. Pushed in side panels with scratches from orange colored posts are tough to explain.

The moral of this story? Don’t do the three things that she did. 1) She went the wrong way. 2) She failed to understand the relationship of objects around her. And, 3) even though she knew that what she was doing wasn’t working, she kept doing it.

Been there? I have.

I have intentionally and unintentionally ignored rules. Our society operates best when we pay attention and follow the established guidelines. OK, you mavericks out there, you can tell me that you like to buck the system, how you enjoy jumping over the boundaries. Keep saying that the next time you are stuck waiting for the traffic to clear after a truck has ignored the height limit guidance going into the Mobile Bay tunnel!

And, I have failed to pay attention to what is going on around me. What a mistake.

But, my favorite lesson from this story is in continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting the results to change. (Yep, the definition of insanity.) It’s a favorite lesson of mine because I have had to relearn it many, many times. Let’s just say that I have more than one virtual banged in side panel!!

Proverbs 3:5-6 says it well: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will direct your paths.”

Try His ways – I’ve found them so much better than trying to explain away real and virtual orange paint scratches from a fight with a parking lot pole.

  2 comments for “Orange paint scratches

  1. Anji Gray
    July 20, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    As a person who for many years was going the wrong way, wasn’t paying attention & kept doing it anyway— I know that life is MUCH easier, better & way more fun when you just follow the rules! The consequences RARELY outweigh the pro’s!

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