A Halloween Lesson

October 28, 2018

 

This story shows the subtlety an enemy attack can take and the failure that can happen when emotion dictates behavior. I call it “A Halloween Lesson” because this took place on the day of the Anoka Halloween Parade. I write this in the hopes that you learn the lessons in an easier form than having to go through something similar for yourself.

I live about one-half mile from the parade route and it is not uncommon to have cars parked all along our street. A car was parked in front of my house as the owner of the car walked to the parade route. I mentioned to my daughter that once in the twenty-seven years that I have lived in the house a car parked in front of my driveway, and yet, I felt this paranoia of someone parking in front of it, blocking me in.

I went upstairs for fifteen minutes until it was time to pickup my wife from work. I came downstairs and out the front door to find a small blue car parked in front of my driveway. It was perfectly centered on my driveway and oddly there was no one parked in front of my neighbor’s house. Anger immediately filled my being. I called 911 and requested a patrol car and a tow truck. I then called my wife and apologized to her for not being there on time to bring her home.

I cooled down a bit and about fifteen minutes later an Anoka police squad pulled up. I talked with the officer for a few minutes and then he said it was up to me and asked me what I would like to do. I told him that I didn’t need to be the biggest jerk in the world, so I didn’t want it towed. I did ask him to issue a ticket for illegal parking however, as that seemed like the right thing to do. He wrote up the ticket, put it on the car, and went about his day.

I wrote a note and put it on the car’s window. I knew from experience the tow would be a minimum of $200.00. Looking up the parking fine, I found it was $14.00. I was considering the possibility of paying the ticket myself if I had a chance to speak with the car owner. I thought it would be a chance to show the love and mercy of God, and if they were open to it, I could tell them how they were being used in the spiritual warfare of Anoka. I was inside my house and I saw the owners arrive, but before I could even move to get to the door, the man and woman grabbed the note and the ticket, hopped into the car as they shook their heads and quickly drove away.

I repented for allowing my anger to set me into action rather than remaining calm and determining the correct course of action from a godly perspective. I also prayed forgiveness for them and that their attitude would be thankful that they had not been towed.

My theory is that they were in a hurry to get to the parade route for it was after the start time. They swung to the curb in front of my neighbor’s house, and seeing that driveway, backed up to the car in front of my house to leave room for another car on the curb.

My perception is that the adversary, who doesn’t like my going to war with him in Anoka in the spiritual realm, took this driver who had no evil intent and blinded the driver to my driveway, even thinking that leaving room at the curb was a good deed. This was an unsuspecting victim to the spiritual warfare in Anoka, and the driver was most probably completely unaware that it was even taking place. The driver was a pawn that was influenced by the enemy to come against me. The hopes of the evil ones are to cause one to sin and then deceive the person into thinking they are now disqualified from having any authority to come against the evil works. I have learned that repenting quickly is the antidote to any stumble or fall which enables one to re-engage in the battle.

I could have saved the driver any involvement whatsoever had I been paying attention earlier. Had I been in tune to what I was saying to my daughter and the feeling I had within myself, I would have taken preventative action. Earlier I had thought about parking on the street. I also remembered years past when I pulled the car to the end of the driveway and parked it with the nose of the car hanging over the curb area. I chose to do nothing. I missed the signals – three of them. I struck out and I was had.

The spiritual battle had one up on me with that failure and got me a second time when I acted out my anger. Fortunately, I repented and sought the correct way to act before making a third error and losing the battle completely. It was almost an opportunity to turn the event completely on its head and display the mercy of God. In hindsight, I now only wish that I had taken the ticket from the car myself and altered the note to share that they were delivered by grace and mercy from the debt that they owed. I had the opportunity to truly take something that was meant for evil and see God use it for good. The opportunity was there to share the gospel of peace with someone who would have been thankful to hear it rather than to be looking for their car that had been towed, or in this case, ticketed.

I missed the signs to avoid the whole event. I missed the opportunity to completely turn what was meant for evil into something for good. The good news is that I also did not take retaliation or revenge on my own and double the evil. My wife and I were inconvenienced, and the driver got a legitimate fine. Not a good outcome for either of us, but by the grace of God it was cut short from becoming a bigger issue for all of us.

These are reminders I need to be ready when something bigger happens. There was nothing life-threatening here; no great crisis. But these are the times of training to have me, and anyone else, ready for the bigger events of life. Hearing the warnings and reacting in the love of God is important. The result is being delivered before things happen in some cases, and in others being delivered through something.