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Nov 2009

Parking Tickets and Practical Atheism

Proof that our downtown parking really isn't free.

We all know what a parking ticket is, but what is practical atheism?  Well, it’s the name that I have given to the thing that Paul describes in Titus 1:16, where he says, “They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works…”

I caught myself in a moment of practical atheism about a month ago when I saw one of those dreaded green envelopes under my windshield wiper.  I knew immediately that this was one of those $60 tickets, and, just as immediately, I began to worry about how I was going to pay it.  I worried as if I was facing a choice between paying the ticket or feeding my family (which I wasn’t).   


It wasn’t until the next day that I realized how sinful my worrying was.  Jesus tells us not to worry about the necessities of life (Matthew 6:25-34).  Even if paying my parking ticket was going to cut into what I had set aside to provide food and clothing for my family, I shouldn’t have worried the way that I did.  I have a God in heaven who cares for us and has always provided for us.

At that moment, I felt a renewed sense of faith come over me and I remembered these words: 

Philippians 4:6-7

 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”


It was 1:15pm.  I asked the Lord to forgive me for my practical atheism, and I presented my request to him with thanksgiving.  “Lord, thank you so much for how well you have always provided for me and my family.  Would you please do me a favor?  Can you please send some extra money this month to help me pay this parking ticket?”  And that was it!  An immediate sense of peace came to me.  I had given my concerns over to God.  

At 1:58pm, I received an unexpected phone call from a representative of a financial institution.  Apparently, there was some leftover money in one part of my account with them and, for reasons I still don’t understand, that part of the account needed to be closed out.  She said, “We’ll be sending you a check for $587 this week.”

Now things don’t always work out like that for me, and I am certainly not promising that they will work out like that for you.  However, this time, God answered my prayer with speed and I still remember that little green envelope whenever I feel tempted to become a practical atheist again.

Hopefully, you won’t need to get your own parking ticket to remember that you have a God in heaven who cares for you and provides for you.  



Evette Hicks

November 20 2009 Reply

Hmm, this was good timing for me. I was sort of worrying this week how I was going to pay the bills for the next month and trying not to get concerned about it. I don’t know if I would call it practical atheism,
but I needed the reminder that I can submit my request to the Lord with thanksgiving and be blessed with His peace.

Thanks for the reminder,

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