• Paige Barker

Page 12: Front Row Parking

As you probably know, leading up to Thanksgiving the grocery stores are a madhouse with everyone preparing for their Thanksgiving feasts. A few nights before Thanksgiving I had to pick up a few items for a trip that was coming up. When I got to the store I was blessed with a front row parking spot -- hallelujah, because it was cold and I was in a hurry. When I was leaving there were several cars looking for a parking spot because, I'm not exaggertating when I say 98% of the parking lot was full. But can I tell you how revelational it was backing out of that parking spot knowing someone was about to be blessed with front row parking? (Come on, who doesn't like front row parking?)

Instantly I felt the Holy Spirit whisper, "Paige, be somoene's front row parking spot every day." Okay. It may sound silly, but in that moment it made so much sense. You know the feeling when you're late, you need to run in and out of the store and the parking lot is basically full... but then you round the corner to see someone backing out of the most perfect space to help you get on your way faster. What a blessing that is. I can't tell you how exilerating it felt to be able to release my spot for someone who might have been in a similiar situation -- scurrying like a chicken with its head cut off.

Often times we look for ways we can be blessed, focusing on what we need and how to make that happen, but the Bible tells us that being a giver is actually better than being a receiver.

'...We must remember the words of the Lord Jesus. He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' Acts 20:35 (NIRV)

In this passage in Acts, Paul is speaking to the elders of Ephesus and encouraging them in reaching God's people and how to take care of their flock. Well, one of my dear friends introduced me to a Bible commentary that I love, so I've been using it when studying God's Word. It's a commentary by David Guzik on Blue Letter Bible. I love what he has to say about Acts 20:35:

"Leaders must be more concerned about what they can give their flock than concerned about what their flock can give them....Without a heart of sacrifice there can be no real effective, eternal ministry – and it should be a glad sacrifice, knowing the blessedness of it all."

As Christ followers, we are made in the image of God, therefore, we are leaders -- and our flock is everyone who crosses our path. Being a leader isn't a position; it's a lifestyle. We should be focused on how we can give to others and serve others wherever we go. And as someone who loves to give gifts, I can attest to what Acts 20:35 says, it is better to give than to recevie. The reaction of someone opening your gift is a gift in itself. But giving doesn't have to be something wrapped in pretty packaging with a bow on it. It can be as simple as smiling at the person passing you by, asking your cashier how their day is going, or backing out of that front row parking spot for the next person.

When you choose to focus on how you can bless those around you, you'll look back and realize that you've been blessed along the way. And there's not a more perfect time to shift our focus from ourselves to others than right now -- the holiday season.

So, I challenge you today: be someone's front row parking spot every day.

If you've experienced the blessing of giving to others, comment below! I want to know how it made you feel!