Now that I’m blogging every day, I find myself constantly thinking, “Oh, can I write about this?” or “Maybe this will make a good story!” So today, as I was driving to meet the head pastor I’m working with, I was driving behind a girl going super slow in the fast lane–this is such a pet peeve of mine! I’m not an angry person in general, but I do NOT deal well with people who don’t know how to drive. And, to top it off, I was running late (nothing unusual there), so I sped up going around her on the right. (I will say that I didn’t flip her the bird or anything, so at least I can still maintain some boundaries while I’m angry!) Anyway, going around her angrily wasn’t the problem; the problem was that I continued to speed up because her poor driving made me even later for my appointment. So, as I’m thinking about venting on my blog about people’s poor driving, I proceed to drive by a cop going (supposedly) 83 MPH. Well, as soon as I saw him out of the corner of my eye, I realized I was going way to fast and was going to get pulled over. Of course I started to slow down hoping he hadn’t clocked me yet, but I knew it was too late. So, as soon as the flashing lights came on, I was pulling over.
Now here’s where the moral of the story comes in: the cop comes up to my window and tells me he clocked me at 83. I replied, “I know, Officer. I’m so sorry. There was a girl going really slow in the fast lane, and I was frustrated and I sped up to go around her.” He then asked me if the address on my license and registration was correct. (They’re both still registered at my dad’s address up north.) I told him I’d just moved to SB and still don’t have a permanent address. Then he proceeds back to his bike, I assume to call it in. I text my pastor at this point to tell him that I’ll be even later because I’m getting a ticket. Also during this time, I decide to just breathe and remain calm; I’ve already been so flustered starting off my day that I might as well take it slow for a minute when I’m forced to!
The cop comes back to my car after another minute and here’s what he says (paraphrased, of course): “Since you told me the truth, which most people don’t, about how you were frustrated… [Here he breathed, and it seemed like forever! I could hear him in my head saying, ‘I’ve given you a lesser ticket of only $150’ or something like that] …I’ve written you a fix-it ticket to get your address changed. This involves like a $25 processing fee or something, but I’m not giving you a speeding ticket, which would be like $300.” PRAISE THE LORD!!! I couldn’t believe it! Most of my guy friends tease me that as a girl I always get out of tickets, and I’m sure there’s some truth to that (not that I’ve been pulled over that often), but it was a message to me that there’s value in telling the truth. I knew I had done something wrong and I didn’t try to hide it. In fact, what I did wrong was less my speeding and more my horrible attitude and terrible road rage. After the officer gave me the gospel (it was good news, right? :P), I grabbed his hand, squeezed it, and said, “You are God’s grace to me right now!” It was actually a pretty incredible moment. As I finally drove away, I got teary-eyed and asked the Lord to forgive me for my horrible attitude as I was driving. I knew that I deserved that ticket, and yet God’s mercy still came through that officer who didn’t give me the ticket after all. Of course, there are other times when we get tickets and that doesn’t mean God isn’t present in those moments too, but I really needed that reminder today. Plus, I just don’t have the money because I still don’t have a job!
So the moral of the story: tell the truth! Sure, it may not always get you out of a ticket, but at least your conscience before the Lord will be clean. I’m going to remember this in the future when my road rage takes over! Not that I think bad driving is ok now (it just isn’t!), but I don’t have to get fumingly angry about it. And thank you, Lord, for your mercy and grace!