A Parked Car

A young man, recently graduated from college, was sitting on the sofa in his parents’ living room. He was somewhat discouraged. His plans for work had fallen through, and he was not sure what he should do. To be perfectly honest, his planning had not been all that thorough, and it had not taken much to get them to fall through.

He was complaining about how rough life was being to him, and at the moment he was doing this to his mother, who by this time was the only sympathetic ear left in the house. And even that would probably no longer be the case after a few more days.

While he was talking about the fact that he had no job, with a few comments thrown in about the inscrutability of divine providence, his father returned from work, and came in through the front door. His father was not happy about how his son was approaching this problem, but he was not exasperated either. He remembered how he had been just as foolish at that age.

“I am not sure about the will of God,” the son of saying. “How can I know that the applications I am filling out are the ones He wants me to be filling out? Why won’t God steer me?”

With that, the father beckoned to his son, and led him outside. They walked up to the family car, and the father motioned for the son to get behind the wheel. This the son did, wondering if the father was thinking about giving him the car. He wasn’t, but lazy young men often think of such things as their due.

When he was behind the wheel, the father on the passenger’s side, said, “Turn the steering wheel back and forth.” The son, puzzled, did so. “Do it again,” the father said. The son did so, once again. “Just as I thought,” the father commented. “It is very difficult to steer a parked car.”

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