Ever been thankful for a speed trap? Or being corrected?
I didn’t think I’d ever be thankful for these things, but a few years ago while commuting back and forth from our home in Loveland, Colorado, to my work in Colorado Springs, a trip over 100 miles each way, my heart began to justify speeding.
Oh, not like 90 mph in a 55 mph zone, but more like 60-65 mph. With driving so much every week, in my reasoning it wasn’t being excessive or dangerous but helped me to arrive home a half-hour early each day.
And then it happened, while driving through Denver and merging onto a toll expressway, the car in front of me darted quickly over to the left, exposing a policeman with a radar gun and a speed trap aimed at my lane.
The crazy thing is, this time I really was driving the speed limit but was still pulled over. When I explained to the officer that I wasn’t speeding and that there had been a car in front of me who zipped away quickly, he just didn’t seem to listen or care.
After asking around and discovering that the Denver Traffic Court System isn’t one to negotiate with traffic violations, I decided to just go ahead and pay the ticket.
Putting the Pedal to the Metal
Upset that it seemed unjust, deep down in my heart I knew that even though I wasn’t speeding this particular time, there were plenty of other times where I purposely drove just a little faster than the speed limit.
Sure, maybe this was an unfair situation, but more than the circumstances was the realization that the real issue was my heart’s attitude about speeding. I started to understand that greater than the actual act of speeding, was my deliberate choice to be rebellious.
It became clear to me that my attitude was the problem. And how it wasn’t really the city of Denver dealing with my actions but rather God working through them to gain my attention and deal with my heart.
Philippians 2:3-4 encourages me to “do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant” than myself, and to look not only to my own interest but also the interests of others.
Speeding was for my own interest. Sure, I rationalized how saving time could give me more time to spend with my family. If I drove just a little faster each day, it gave me more hours each week to be at home. Yet overall, it was a conscious decision to ignore authority and follow my own will, choosing to do what I considered was right in the situation.
Time to Mull it Over
It took a while, but now I’m grateful for God’s discipline in the matter. It absolutely hurt to get a ticket and points on my license but in the long run, I’m grateful for godly correction.
Scripture reminds me in Hebrews 12:6 that the Lord disciplines those He loves and chastens everyone He accepts as a child. And who knows what could have come from speeding? Or what worse consequences it could have caused me down the road, if God hadn’t dealt with me?
So now when fellow Colorado drivers speed past me on a daily basis, I say a little prayer asking God to please work in their lives like He has in mine.