Friday, April 9, 2010


Last week I got a traffic ticket.

It was bad.

But not as bad as it could have been.

It could have been two and a half times as bad.

The officer showed me mercy.

Man. How I love mercy!

Mercy is defined as a person not getting what they deserve.

And, I really did deserve it.

I didn't want it, but I deserved it.

I was caught red-handed.

I've always thought of myself as a rule follower.

I like rules.

Rules are good.

They protect.

They give order.

They help you know what is expected of you.

Rules establish boundaries when living in a community, be it big or small.

See, rules aren't so bad.

And then the truth made an entrance. . .

It dawned on me that I wasn't upset about breaking two traffic laws.

I wasn't upset about it at all.

I was upset about getting caught.

I was upset about the consequences of getting caught.

There was no real remorse for what I had done.

What remorse I was feeling was not from my heart.

It was from my wallet.

That's when I realized maybe I wasn't such a rule follower after all.

Maybe it's just I hate getting caught.

My heart began to question how I feel when I break God's laws. When I miss the mark.

I questioned myself as to how I really feel when I step over one of His boundaries, or when I don't just step, but jump across one of them.

How do I really feel when I've been selfish. . .when I've been unloving and critical?

How do I feel when I've been dishonest or shared a bit of gossip?

Does my heart hurt for what I've done, even when there are no visible consequences?

If somehow I was promised there would be no consequences for my actions would I still seek to do good?

Or would I just go through life speeding . . . without wearing my seat belt?

I just told on myself.

Like I said before. . . this pseudo rule follower that hates getting caught, loves mercy.

"Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me."Psalm 51:10

1 comment:

  1. I remember a police stop and all they wanted was to check things off their clipboard. Everything was ship shape with my '65 Mustang and then he saw that I hadn't fastened my seat belt. It wasn't against the law, you see, but I was a little ticked that I had "failed" when he checked that little box that said, "Not wearing seat belt!" So, ever after, I began clicking the belt. Then I began to realize that clicking that belt was like putting God's hands of protection around me. And even though I had poo-pooed belts before (saying that I could die wearing as not), I felt God used that minister of the peace to teach me a lesson in discipline that could save my life one day and spare my family the grief of losing a loved one. Speeding, on the other hand, was, and is, a discipline that I have to relearn. A woman, about the same time as the seat belt incident yelled, "SLOW DOWN!" as I sped by. It shocked me into thinking that this speeding could kill someone. If I was staying within the speed limit and hit a child, I would feel terrible, but at least I wouldn't feel guilty on top of feeling terrible (i.e. remorseful). So, the one lesson was for my protection, the other for those around me. Forget not His benefits, for He has kept me, and others, from harm these 40 years.