Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Timely (but Embarrasing) Lesson from Speeding (UGH!)

I shook my head back and forth, disappointed in myself. I knew it. I just knew it.
The unmarked police car pulled out from its discrete hiding place behind the fence.  I didn’t need to look down at the speedometer. It was too late. I slowed down, my foot resting on the brake, just as the red and blue lights flashed in my rear view mirror.
((((sigh)))))  I knew better, but I was in a hurry. I needed to have two people in different places at the same time. I had at least a thousand things on my mind. I was tired, and probably hungry, although at that point the only real feeling I had was a combined sinking feeling of my spirit and a sickening feeling in my stomach. 
I pulled over. The police officer approached my car. I handed him my driver’s license, humbled that a forty something mother was pulled over for speeding.  My teen age daughter sat in the back seat, “Mom, this IS embarrassing.”
 DIdn’t I know it.  “Sorry, honey. My fault.  I guess these things happen.”
“Do you know how fast you were going, Ma’am?” the officer said, rather kindly, I must admit.
“I’m not sure,” I responded, guessing at a number that I feared was lower than I wanted it to be. Sure enough, I was wrong. 
“No, Ma’am. You were going faster than that. And, did I just see you put your seat belt on when you came  around the corner?”
Blow number two. Guilty.  I wasn't but a few blocks from home, but I had forgotten to "buckle up" as I should have, before I even put the car in drive. Not good.

“Yes, sir. I did.  I’m sorry,” I said, now doubly humbled and overwhelmed with honesty. I preceded to explain to him the details of where I was going and why, as if he really cared.
“I know they aren’t great excuses, "I concluded.  "I was in a hurry. I really am sorry. ”
To make a long story (or so it seemed at the time) short, I got off with a warning and no points deducted from my record. It had been a long time (10 years?) since I had been stopped for the same offense.  However,  did get fined $10 for not wearing my seat belt.
I actually thanked the man as I sheepishly pulled away, eyes darting between the road, the speed limit signs and my speedometer.  The police officer (and the Lord) were gracious to me. I am grateful.
And I said to the Lord, “Yes. I am listening. I hear you loud and clear. ‘Slow down.  You don’t need to hurry. Stop rushing here and rushing there.  Just slow down.’”
So, in addition to trying to consider and clear the clutter per my last post (incidentally, this happened the day after I wrote that story), I’m also working on slowing down.  I must admit, there is something about a warning that does really work. My foot is lighter on the pedal and my seat belt is clicked in to place like it should be. Furthermore, I find myself intentionally trying to slow down in other areas of life.  
It doesn’t take much for a vision of the flashing lights to show up in my mind, when I feel myself hustling about and overwhelmed, whether in body or mind. And I quickly remember, “Slow down. You don’t need to hurry. Stop rushing here and there. Just slow down.”
Another timely reminder from God in the everyday occurrences of life. 


MooseNuggette said...

Thank you Jesus for sending the officer to remind Andrea to wear her seatbelt not only for her safety but as an example to her children.

Andrea @ Unfailingly Loved said...

Isn't that the truth! Doesn't it just figure ... the one time I forget to put it on ... I'm caught in the act. Ugh. Lesson learned ....

Cass said...

Don't feel too bad Andrea - it wasn't too long ago that I was also pulled over with a car full of 13-yr old boys. Very humiliating and I definitely didn't think I was setting a good example. It doesn't help matters any when the Police Officer knows your husband - added embarassment. I got the message too - SLOW DOWN. Yes, Lord. Take care Andrea!

Andrea @ Unfailingly Loved said...

Thanks, Cass. Glad to hear your slowing down, too. Hope we can catch up soon! I guess even our mistakes can be used for good with our kids -- somehow, someway. :)

Cherie Hill said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog today! Atleast you're honest . . . and WOW God was with you . . . you were so blessed to just get a warning and a small fine!!! Praying God's continued protection over you . . . you know, it's those little things and life that can cause us to slow down and dig deep. Anything that draws us nearer to God is good for us . . . it's just that they're sometimes painful. ;)

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