July 7, 2015

a little perspective

After my fantastic weekend in Indiana (really, a post is coming--I promise!), I returned to reality today. And boy did it strike with a vengeance!

I went back to work this morning--which isn't a bad thing, but I would have liked to have a longer vacation. Then, at 11:30, I left for lunch. That's when things fell apart.

I was headed back into town on the road I take every day, a road where the speed limit drops rapidly and virtually no one follows the posted speed limit. I had just hit the 35 mph zone when I noticed the cop parked off the road up ahead. You guessed it: I was not yet down to 35 mph. I braked, passed the cop, and kept driving. He turned around and followed me for a couple blocks (maybe to see if I'd commit any other infractions?) before flipping on his lights.

And I got my first-ever speeding ticket.

Did I deserve the ticket? Absolutely. I am 100% sure I was not going 35 when I got to the 35 mph sign. (Was I going as fast as the cop said? Highly unlikely. But I absolutely was speeding.) And in my 19 years of driving, I've probably sped way more than I've followed the speed limit. Many times I only go over by 1 or 2 mph, but speeding is speeding. So I'm pretty fortunate to have only this one ticket.

Still, though, I'm upset. As I said to my mom, "I know I was wrong. I know I deserve it. But I'm still mad about it!"

And isn't that the way we humans are? We want to do what we want, when we want, with whomever we want. We don't want to submit to authority; we want to be our own authority. And when we get called on it, we get mad.

The officer could have chosen to show me mercy today, but he didn't. And as I thought about that this afternoon, it made me grateful for a God who did choose to show me mercy. I deserve so much more than a $123 speeding ticket, which is miniscule in the grand scheme of things--I deserve hell for all eternity.

So thank you, Officer I'm-sorry-I-can't-remember-your-name-and-your-signature-was-illegible. Though I'm sure this was not your intent when you gave me that ticket, thank you for reminding me of my sin nature and for pointing me back to Christ.

As I drove home from work tonight, I was careful to observe the speed limit the entire way. Judging by how slow the drive felt, I was never remotely close to following the law in the past. Lesson learned.


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