Monday, April 19, 2010

Law Abiding Citizen

With a carload of players and spectators, I hurried toward the ballpark, yet, again. I made good time along the interstate, but as I exited onto the smaller highway, our pace slowed to a miserable crawl. The car in front of me crept along at what seemed 15 mph.

Just as I huffed my impatience aloud, I glanced at my speedometer: 55 mph.

I was absolutely exasperated with the person in front of me because they were driving at precisely the speed limit. How disheartening to have to rein in my disgruntlement because they were in fact doing nothing wrong. They simply were not driving fast enough to leave me room to break the law.

As I tried to edge up to her bumper to urge her onward, she remained steadfast: confident in her constraint. Her unwillingness to budge almost sent me into a phase two meltdown. I had procrastinated and spent too much time on the computer, and now SHE was making me late. Her determination to live by the rules exposed my true condition. I wondered if it occurred to her to move over to the shoulder for just a moment so that I could go about my illegal way. Of course not. She had a right to be on the road and she intended to enjoy it.

As we drove along, something in my heart changed. (We had PLENTY of time to facilitate such a change:) I began to embrace the fact that I was to blame for my tardiness. I began to regret reading that last email and waiting so long to load the car. This woman had done nothing to bring me harm. I was only annoyed by the standard she was setting for those of us who came along behind her.

I became remorseful for the inconvenience our late arrival would cause the coaches and teammates. As cars whizzed by in the opposite direction, I also understood the wisdom of posted speed limits in terms of safety and traffic control. The other driver didn’t glare or point fingers. She just continued quietly and consistently on her way.

Perhaps this is a good example for those righteous saints who might feel pressure to change their ways by hasty rule haters breathing down your neck with impatient disdain on their breath. When prodded by those who prefer unrighteousness, do you give in, give up, give grief, or allow your actions to give way to extended righteousness? Expanded by your continued faithfulness and the conversion of others.

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right,giving joy to the heart. The commands of the lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. By them Your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward." Psalm 19:7-11

"And this is my prayer; that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11