Parking Philosophy


It was recommended that we be 2 hours early for our ferry from Juneau to Skagway, and just to be on the safe side, we arrived 2 and a half hours before our given departure time. Checking our tickets took 2 minutes, and then we learned that the ferry would be arriving 45 minutes late. That would leave us exactly 3 hours and 13 minutes to explore-the parking lot!

We weren't alone on our boring vigil. Some passengers read in their vehicles while others slept and snored. Still others complained, wasting all of their energy in this verbal assault. We took a different approach to the dilemma. We decided to explore the parking lot. Literally.

To my sons' delight, this included a small, pebbled beach. Beachcombing kept us occupied for about thirty minutes, and then we decided to explore the pier. That's when we noticed a majestic bird fly in and alight on one of the light poles. It was a bald eagle!

Although we rushed out with our cameras, we didn't need to, for the bird seemed perfectly happy just sitting there. It was raining (don't forget, we were in Alaska!), and from time to time he would shake the moisture from his feathers. He must have known he was being stared at, because he stared back in return!

Imagine our delight when another of these majestic creatures flew up and landed atop another light pole. Then, suddenly, the first bird flew off of his pole, dove straight into the water, and snagged a fish in his claws. He then flew onto another light post and proceeded to enjoy his gourmet dinner.

Before we were finally allowed to board our ferry, another bald eagle made an appearance, and we were blessed with close-up views of three of these birds. We couldn't have had better entertainment. Our three hour and 13 minutes flew by so fast that it was with regret that we left the dock. The snorers, readers and especially the complainers never got to savor what we were allowed to admire: nature in full action!

Often in life we miss opportunities because we are concentrating our attention on things of lesser importance. May I encourage anyone reading this, myself included, to start enjoying every living moment that God has granted us. It is a privilege to be alive. Let us live life to the fullest! Jesus is the One who teaches us how: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10b NIV)

The one who tries to rob us from real living is the deceiver called the devil. He does not have our best intentions at heart: "The thief (the devil) comes only to steal and kill and destroy." (John 10:10 NIV)

Take the time to enjoy every moment of your life. If you do, you will notice that even in your darkest moments, there is beauty to be seen: "Even if you live a long time, don't take a single day for granted. Take delight in each light-filled hour, Remembering that there will also be many dark days And that most of what comes your way is smoke." (Eccl 11:8 The Message)

Would you like to see an eagle in a parking lot? Slow down and take a big breath. One day one just might fly in, but only if you take the time to watch!

Rob Chaffart


"You sure look appetizing!"

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