Parking is horrendous in Chicago’s downtown. First of all, if you want to find a metered parking space, you might as well just forget about it – not only because of the lack of space but because of the number of quarters you have to put in. Secondly, the parking spaces that are opened are the ones that you pay $20-$30 dollars for like 3-5 hours. This is when you wish you were a millionaire.
Anyways, we parked our car today at one of Navy Pier’s parking structures. It was $19 for the first 3 hours. Then after that the prices go up! So we did our best to make it in the 3 hours mark. We arrived at Navy Pier at 11:37AM and by the time we got back into the car to leave it was 2:36PM (1 minute to go). As we were heading out to the exit to pay our parking fee there was a car in front of us. For some reason it took the car awhile to pay. We were in a race against time.
By the time we got to the booth and handed the teller our ticket, she said, “$25.” I was like, “What?! We are just 2 minutes over the time! Can we still get the under 3-hour rate?” She looked at me for a second and then I pleaded my case by saying, “Hey, that person in front of me was taking too long, I was really in line with 1 minute still left on the clock.” She called her manager on the walkie talkie and then said, “Sorry, my manager said that you have to pay the higher price.”
I could not believe it! I wanted to get out of the car and grab that walkie talkie and talk with her manager in person, but I resisted. Two minutes is two minutes. As we were driving away, Christina and I were talking about the concept of grace. In that brief exchange with the teller, I felt the weight of the law pressed against me. But if they gave at least a 5 minute grace period, I wonder how I would have responded… I think I would have felt grateful knowing that I got something that I did not deserve.
We have so much to be thankful for in this Thanksgiving season… thank you Lord for your grace that covers our 2 minute failures.