By Rusty Brock, pastor

First Baptist Church, Clemson

Do you back into parking spaces or pull forward into them?

Recently, I was standing outside of a local restaurant waiting on a friend, and I became intrigued with how many people backed into parking spaces.

I typically pull into spaces, so I pondered what the advantage to backing in might be. Is it to make a quick get away? Is it because backing in is easier than backing out? Or is it just a habit?

Then I decided that to truly find out, I needed to put it to the test. So, for several weeks, I started backing into most parking spots. My exception has been when lots of cars are trying to park and backing in would hold them up.

After several weeks of this highly scientific test, here is what I concluded.

  1. Pulling into a spot is easier, but backing out is more difficult especially in a crowded area like a grocery store lot.
  2. Once you back in, you can certainly see better to pull out.
  3. While backing in takes longer, pulling out is quicker so in essence you get the hard part accomplished first.
  4. If you are in a hurry pulling in is a must.
  5. It is easier to stay in the lines of the parking spot if you pull in.

I can’t say that I have been converted to a backer, but I do have a greater appreciation for backers—unless I am waiting behind them and I am in a hurry!

As I spent way too much time thinking about how we park, it occurred to me that much of life is about going backwards and forwards.
We all prefer to move forward, but many times life keeps pulling us back due to illness, loss, job changes, and the stresses of daily responsibilities.

I recalled the old adage, “Two steps forward and one step back,” meaning that every time we begin to make progress, we face some obstacle that moves us back. Like in the game Monopoly when you draw the card that says, “move back five spaces.” And yet, we all know that we have to keep moving and trusting that we make more progress than we often realize.

In Philippians 3:13-14, the Apostle Paul says, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

May we all remember as we navigate our way backwards and forwards through life, that ultimately we are moving towards our promised reward in Christ.

And even if we have to back in, we will still take our seat at the kingdom banquet where our cups will overflow and we will know goodness and mercy for all eternity.

Rusty Brock
First Baptist Church, Clemson

Rusty is from Atlanta, GA. He did his undergraduate work at Mercer University in Atlanta, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.

He received his Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, and he received his Doctor of Ministry Degree from Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA.

Rusty has served on the Coordinating Council for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Oklahoma and South Carolina and the Coordinating Council for CBF Global,  where he chaired the Missions Initiative Team.

Prior to coming to Clemson in December 2007, Rusty served as pastor of Northwest Baptist in Ardmore, OK, and Fellowship Baptist in Fitzgerald, GA. 

Email Rusty at