I got a speeding ticket last night.
I honestly thought the speed limit was 70 miles per hour. It was 55. You do the math.
With the blue lights blazing in my rearview mirror, the officer came to my window for the details. Upon taking my license and registration, he disappeared back to his car.
At that point, especially after telling him I was traveling back from SEMINARY where I was taking CLASSES and telling him I truly wouldn’t have been going 70 if I hadn’t thought it was 70 (which is completely true), I was confident I would be handed an extension of mercy. My record is clean, I figured, and I’ve got Jesus on my side!
I caught myself chuckling in the car. I was already planning on using the officer’s impending act of mercy as a teaching tool the next day in youth group or in my weekly FCA devotion. Why, I could even blog about mercy! What a fortunate event, being pulled over by a member of law enforcement and being given teaching fodder in the process!
The officer came back to my window, blue lights still strobing their warning to oncoming cars, and handed my cards back to me. Then he proceeded to explain all the boxes on my speeding ticket.
My eyes started to well up. My throat grew tighter. I started to sweat.
But…where was the mercy? You know…the part where you give me a warning and tell me to drive safe?
But…where was my seatbelt violation to “let you off this one time?”
But…I’m on a mission for Jesus?!
“But, I’m fastidious about the speed limits around here, Officer,” I stammered. “I truly thought this stretch was 70 miles per hour. I…ALWAYS go the speed limit.”
“That’s good to hear,” he said.
The officer told me the date of my scheduled out-of-state court appearance an hour away from my home. He gave me the phone number to call for further questions. He anticipates that I will be able to choose the option of attending traffic school instead of paying the fine and having it all go on my record.
Oh, and bonus? He teaches traffic school.
“Maybe he just wanted an excuse to see you again?” my ever-optimistic sister suggested when I called her to bemoan my misfortune.
“HE COULD HAVE JUST ASKED FOR MY PHONE NUMBER,” I wailed into the speaker.
There are merciful elements to these events, I’ll admit. Bottom line: I broke the rules. I received justice.
And hopefully just traffic school.