I am still sharing some thoughts from the learning process of the summer of 2012. These last few weeks we have had a pastor friend visiting with us from India. I have observed as we have had a number of occasions to enjoy meals together that there seems to be a lot more time spent lingering after meals for fellowship and visiting. Generally when I have dinner with my wife, I finish my meal, quickly clear the table, put the dishes in the dishwasher (my chore) and go watch the evening news, which always has a calming effect on me (ha ha). But with Pastor Paul here, I have taken a lot more time to fellowship and interact. I got to wondering what is so important on the nightly news that it would keep me from relaxing and interacting with my wife. I wonder if that thought brings conviction to anyone else besides me. I am aware that I need to slow down.
This need to slow down was highlighted about a month ago when I was on my way to the hospital in New Brunswick to visit someone and I was stopped for speeding. I caught a green light that I never catch green and hurried through it and got clocked for doing 41 in a 25 mile an hour zone. Memo to self – never speed up to get through a green light or a yellow light either. This occurred on a Monday morning and was not a good way to start my week. But there was several interesting life lessons learned through this ticket. I hope I can get $105 worth of memos to self out of it.
What was interesting, first of all, was when the officer handed me the ticket he told me I could plea “unsafe speed” and not have the points show up on my driving record. He said that because I had no points on my NJ license I could take 2 “unsafe” pleas. This sounded good to me. In fact the truth is it sounded too good. I remembered I live in NJ and everything comes with a catch. I had my administrative assistant check into it for me. She found out that yes I could take an “unsafe” plea but it would cost me a $250 surcharge, $33 court fee and the cost of the ticket- let’s see that $388 for a speeding ticket. No, the points wouldn’t show up on my insurance if the state got their piece of the pie. This was confirmed when one of our young people told me she had taken an “unsafe” plea for going through a yellow light and it cost her nearly $500 to take an “unsafe” plea.
The second thing about the ticket was that within 3 days I had received at least 10 letters (I lost count) from attorneys urging me to contact them to contest the speeding charge. Are you kidding?!! Over 10 letters. Memo to self – if you are willing to pay enough money you will always be able to find someone to defend your innocence even if you are guilty. What kind of attorney sits around the police scanner looking for this kind of action? Answer – some very bored ones. We live in a world that is always scheming to take advantage of us and fleece us. Memo to self – don’t ever forget someone is looking for the chance to rip you off.
But there is one truth that is unchanging and that I can build my life on. That truth is revealed in the 14th chapter of John’s gospel when Jesus says “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me”, (v.5 NASB). Our friends will let us down and disappoint us; the state of NJ will find a way to take advantage of us and as well as attorneys, what more needs to be said. But Jesus is the friend of sinners and the lover of my soul. He is the one I need to follow and surrender my life to. Memo to self – follow Jesus with all your heart and let Him guide and guard your steps.
All for Christ,