Over the weekend, a police officer handed me a ticket for doing 80-mph in a 70-mph zone. As I pulled away, tears started dripping down my face. My son, who had been fascinated by the flashing blue lights and had waved with a smile to the 2nd officer that was standing near the back-seat window, was now concerned about my water works.
“Are you sad you got a ticket mama?”
When I answered no to being sad, he continued trying to guess the cause of my tears.
My tears were ones of frustration. I had a lot on my plate. I was exhausted, having already driven 9 of the 14.5 hours in order to get home. It was starting to snow, causing me another level of worry about driving. My husband was another week behind coming home. Baseball tryouts were being re-scheduled for Monday evening and new cleats/bats/gloves hadn’t been purchased yet. Laundry and bills to be paid were waiting my arrival home.
Now, I also had a speeding ticket.
As I started to search vigilantly for a hotel to stop at, I began reflecting on what that speeding ticket meant. It became symbolic. I speed a lot. If I’m honest and fair, I likely speed every day. It’s easy for me to nudge up to the speed limit, as well as go over…even if it’s only one or two mph over.
The kicker is that I don’t get caught every day. I don’t catch myself, nor does law enforcement. Yet, I know I speed. I know I should try harder to stop speeding. I acknowledge that I deserve the accountability and discipline of a ticket nearly daily.
Sin is like that.
We often commit sin without even acknowledging that it’s sinful behavior. Perhaps, we exhibit a particular sinful behavior so frequently that we begin to lose the knowledge that it’s sin. We can go days, months, and even years without being held accountable for those behaviors. Romans 3:23 states, “…for all of sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” The longer we go without being called out on it, the easier it is to continue doing the behavior.
This was the 1st speeding ticket I had gotten in the US since 1996; although I did get enough speeding tickets while stationed in Germany, that I actually had my US-European drivers licenses suspended for 30 days (it’s even easier to go super-fast in Germany).
But this weekend’s speeding ticket was a reprimand for errant behavior. It was also representative of all the other times I had broken the law by speeding…and hadn’t gotten caught.
I deserved the ticket. The tears weren’t ones of sadness that I had gotten caught; rather they were ones of frustration at the situation.
Take a moment this week to ask the Lord to reveal where there is repeated sin in your life so that you can repent before you end up with one of the speeding tickets of life.