Last night “my boy” Aaron and I went to a movie at a theater on International Drive in Orlando. Parked in a garage where you had to get a card to park. No person at a booth. Pretty normal city life thing, right?
One would think. Except there were all these signs all over the garage telling you to pay at these pay-with-credit kiosks. To the outoftowner, confusing. Am I supposed to pay now or when I leave? What’s with all the kiosks?
So we asked the movie ticket seller how it works, paying for parking that is. She said, “There’s a scanner on the wall around the corner where you validate your card.” Found it; got validated.
My understanding and assumption was that validation meant the system knew why I had parked in the garage, and I’d pay at a booth or kiosk when I left. Paying for parking confusion solved.
So imagine my surprise after the movie when I’m at the garage exit swiping my validated card at another scanner with credit card in hand prepared to pay when I don’t actually have to pay anything. I was intently staring at the scanner, swiping my card over and over, looking for some light to go off or message to appear saying, “Insert card for payment.”
“My boy” Aaron jolted me out of my overswiping when he said, “Hey, the arm is up. You can go. It validated your card.” I turned my eyes away from the scanner, and, sure enough, I was free to exit.
“Oh. I don’t have to pay. Validation meant the movie ticket was the payment. Got it.”
This scenario reminds me how we can be confused about seeking forgiveness for sin from God.
We are constantly figuring out how to “cover it” or “pay for it.”
We have a validated card in our wallet and don’t even know its power.
We can walk through life still thinking, “I hope when I leave, I’ve got what I need to pay for my time here, that I haven’t screwed this all up.”
And we can stand there at the scanner swiping and swiping and swiping, praying over and over and over again hoping God is listening, and the whole time he is saying, “Stop swiping that card. Take your eyes off the scanner. Look up. I’ve already taken care of it a long time ago. Move on.”