Atop a small hill on the grounds of the University of Virginia, a red brick home has been keeping watch over almost a century of students who have worn the paths and etched their mark. The house that my co-author Will’s family owns celebrates the proud history of the University with all the charm of Priscilla Searcy’s creative décor.
While the setting of UVA is idyllic, anyone traveling to Charlottesville, Virginia, will testify to the absence of available parking, day or night. This posed a problem for my daughter, Meredith, who after graduating in May, moved to an apartment on the north grounds when she began her Master’s program. Too far away to walk to class, she began to drive, but the impossible parking situation forced her to seek out a solution.
The Searcys generously gave Meredith permission to park in the driveway of the Searcy house each day, assuring her of a spot and getting to class on time. Once she gets to the house it is a quick 10-minute walk to the McIntire building each morning.
This past weekend, John and I decided to travel to Charlottesville to visit the kids. (Meredith’s twin brother Christian is also a graduate student at UVA). We were blessed by the fact that Will’s house happened to be available and we looked forward to our time there. As we pulled in, we noticed a bright orange cone at the end of the driveway with a sign attached to it that read, “reserved for Florida girl.” It made us laugh but also piqued our curiosity.
The story behind the sign is that the house next door is under renovation, and with the large number of sub-contractor vehicles and the limited parking, there was no place for all the trucks. So they spilled over from the adjacent property into the Searcy driveway – including parking in Meredith’s space. When the construction crew realized what had happened – after our sweet girl had a little Virginia Cavalier joust with them – they fabricated the sign, and now are careful to make sure Meredith’s parking space is always open for her.
Each morning when Meredith leaves her apartment, she doesn’t think she has a parking space and she doesn’t hope she has a parking space. No, Meredith knows that her parking space is waiting for her. This makes me remember Jesus’s words to His apostles in John 14:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
When we choose to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we don’t have to think there is a place reserved for us, and we don’t have to hope there is a space reserved for us, we know Jesus has prepared a place for us. Doesn’t that assurance make you see this earthly life in a whole different light? When you live a life of faith, you can be confident that you will be blessed with a place in eternity reserved just for (say your name).
Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:12-13