"Be sure your sins will find you out" (Num 32:23)
Speeding is a struggle of mine. It always has been. This may seem strange, possibly crazy, but the truth is that it physically affects me to drive slow. Trying to keep my vehicle traveling below 60 mph takes a real effort for me. My stomach begins to knot and anxious butterflies flurry away as I think of how much quicker I could get from point a to point b if I could just drive as fast as I wanted.
So about a month ago I was pulled over for speeding. Trust me, Francesca Battistelli has nothing on me. I could only hope for 45 in a 35. Nope my ticket, a wonderful 58 in a 30mph zone. My favorite part is being pulled over with my 2 youngest children in the car who are now afraid that Mommy is going to jail. Of course the one up front is the child that constantly corrects my speed everytime she rides in the front and sees a speed limit sign. To whom I in turn tell that she's going to ride in the back from now on if she doesn't stop trying to tell me how to drive. Yeh, too bad she missed the heads up this day, I would have appreciated some backseat driving from a 7 yr old on this particular evening.
So now I am pulled over, and being the almost 35 yr old mother of two in the car and not to mention a married woman and a christian, the whole flirt with the cop is no longer an option. So I visibly irritated hand out my license to the officer and also visibly irritated and borderline hateful respond that "No I was not aware I was in 30 mph zone" (and I btw I really wasn't aware). At this point my stomach is in my throat and I am thinking that death would be a better option than having to tell my husband that I received yet another speeding ticket.
Now the deal is done and ticket is in hand I continue to our destination, which would be to my Sunday School teachers house for a going away party for his daughter who, yes, you guessed it, would be a student in the Sunday School class that my husband and I teach. So now who is there but our entire class. I am now not so happy and my husband is not so happier. You would think this is bad, but yes it gets worse.
This is not a ticket that you could just quietly go pay or call and ask for driving school. No, I have to attend court. I walk in and sit down and clutch my purse to my chest as I sit there and secretly wish my husband was beside me, because this makes me very nervous. I have no clue how much I am fixing to have to pay and the whole time I am praying that God would grant me enough mercy for one more driving school.
The Chief of police is there, and yep, that's right, he too is in my Sunday School class and yes his daughters I have also taught. Humbled, humiliated, head down, trying to debate whether I just let him NOT notice me or purposely make eye contact HOPING he will help me. In my desperation I opt for eye contact.
Finally the judge calls my name and I enter the driving school line in hopeful anticipation that it will be this easy, the clerk looks familiar but I am not yet sure why, so I keep my head down. She looks at my ticket and tells me my speed is considered reckless driving and too high for driving school and I have to get permission from the prosecuting attorney to go. Now I am really about to throw up.
Enter new line. As I stand in the line, the thoughts come. I stand here guilty as charged among others also possibly guilty as charged. I want to sink into the wall, but then I am a Christian, am I too use this as an opportunity to share the gospel? Yet here I stand feeling as though my credibility has been lost. Everyone else is talking amongst themselves, but mostly they are men, is it a proper and fitting time? Will my smile be misjudged? Do I even feel like smiling? Oh and there's the Chief do I speak and let everyone know I know him or do I just keep standing in line with my head down and mouth shut hoping no one else recognizes me? Then I think of how terrified I am and I think of the fear that someone has to feel when they stand before a court with charges much more serious than speeding. Then my mind jumps back to the selfish thought of just waltzing my irritated from standing in line tail up to the judge slamming my ticket down and saying just let me pay it and go home because I have important stuff to do. Then I see my husband's face and know that I will lay on the ground at the feet of this judge and beg for driving school until he says yes if it takes all night. Yes, my thoughts work like that, emotional rollercoaster.
While I stand in line and have my mental debate, the Chief calls me out of line and into the original room, where the judge has reviewed my case and chosen to allow me to go to driving school, level 2 of course, for a higher fee. I am elated to pay more for level 2!
I now get in line to sign up for driving school and the familiar looking clerk says, "Nicole, I should have known it was you. I took one of your Precept classes..." Yes now I really feel like a spiritual giant.
So after receiving my driving school instructions while Beevis and Butthead sing "breaking the law, breaking the law" in my head, I walk head down, out the door and breathe deep fresh air and head home to discuss my possible driving school dates with my wonderful husband, who now is able to at least laugh about the entire incident.