"One ought, everyday at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture and speak a few reasonable words." --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Run-In with the Law...and God

"Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
--Matthew 7:21  

I’ve had a lot of really great experiences in my life, many of which have been spiritual in nature. I don’t think I’ve ever shared one of my more spiritual experiences on this blog yet, but I figure it’s high time. If you don’t appreciate this kind of thing, I give you fair warning: it’s about to get a little spiritual in here. :)

My youngest son is a competitive gymnast and sometimes has meets out of state. One of these meets was in a town about 2 hours from our home. The meet started at 10am, but there was an important hour long warm up beforehand; so we planned to be there at 9am.

We woke up on time, but through a series of unfortunate circumstances, we did not get on the road until 7:45am, which only gave us an hour and 15 minutes to make the 2 hour drive. But I didn’t despair. I was confident I could make up at least a half an hour by speeding a little. By my calculations, we’d only be about 15 minutes late for warm-up; annoying but acceptable. But we could NOT be any later than that!

Well, my calculations didn’t account for weekend traffic. Even though I had my cruise control set 10mph over the speed limit, I was still 30 miles away from our destination at 9:30am when the coach started texting me. Forget the warm-up, we might not even make the 10am start time! And if we weren’t there when the meet started, he wouldn’t be able to compete.

Feeling the pressure from the coach and not wanting the drive to be in vain, I set my cruise control up another 5mph and hoped for the best. Then when I was still about 10-15 miles from our destination at 9:45am, I set the cruise control up to 100mph for good measure.

Well, I’m not accustomed to driving that fast, so after a few miles, I started to feel extremely unsafe (ya think?). So, I did what I usually do when I feel that way: I said a prayer and asked for safety.

No sooner had I thought the request in my head – I don’t even think I finished my request – when an answer came clearly, almost audibly, and in a matter-of-fact tone:

“I can’t keep you safe if you don’t obey the law.”

Then I started rationalizing. But I’m late! The meet starts in 15 minutes and I’m only like 5 miles from my exit! Surely such a short distance at this speed can’t make that much difference. No, I’m fine. I’m fine.

I heard a VERY quiet, “Okay…”

And then I was immediately pulled over. Seriously, from the time I felt unsafe to the time I got pulled over was probably less than 3 minutes. Had I pressed on my break when I heard the I-can’t-keep-you-safe comment, I definitely would have avoided a speeding ticket….5 MILES from my exit at 9:45am. I mean, I could practically SEE the exit!

The police officer was very nice to both my son and I. She said she clocked me at 92 miles an hour in an 80mph zone (I was luckily climbing a hill when she clocked me, or I would have been going much faster…a fact which I obviously didn’t mention). But she only gave me a ticket for 5 miles over ($90). She was also thankfully very fast. She wished my son luck at his meet and we were driving away at 9:50am.

We showed up at the gym – which was thankfully right off the freeway – at 9:55am, and my son was able to hustle through a warm up before the meet started.

It all worked out in the end and I wish I hadn’t had to pay a $90 ticket. But on one level, I’m kind of glad it all happened because it has been a great lesson for me; one that I have often reflected back on in tempting moments. 

The Lesson: If you want blessings, first utilize the first level of protection: 


Whether it's the law of the land, or a law of God (commandments, etc.)...the same principle applies.

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