Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Speed Bumps & Speed Limits

We live with Abe's parents right now in their gated community.  Within their gated community, I drive over speed bumps for a mile down the road.  Some drivers go over them way too fast.  Then there are these other drivers who literally come to a complete stop before each speed bump and then creeeeeep over them.  It pains me going so slow over each and every one for a whole mile.  I could run faster than that for goodness sakes!

I have to cross over these speed bumps several times each day because of the kids' various school activities.  I homeschool my kids but take Jordan and Mariah to their strings class at the school, and Jackson and Tyson to their band, jazz band, choir, and theater classes at the school.

By the time I get to the main road, I'm ready to fly- the speed limit is 55mph.  Yesterday, it was only Tyson and I in the car together.  We both eyed the clock and moaned.  We were stuck behind a slowpoke who was driving under the speed limit of all things.  We were cutting close on time, and I told Tyson, "Don't be like me.  Don't always be rushing to things.  You should be so early to the places you have to go that you don't have to race or feel stressed to get there."

He agreed that he would not carry on that particular trait of mine; but for now, we were running behind schedule and felt great impatience poking along behind this truck.

We turned onto the next street.  It was a very wide 4 lane street where the speed limit dropped down to 40mph for only a few blocks.  I stayed behind a car that was going slightly above that speed.  No other cars were around.  Right then, two police officers walked out in the middle of the both lanes and motioned for both of us to pull over.  We could see the sign for 45mph change from where we were- it was only a block away.

He wrote me a ticket for going 49mph- just 4 over what the sign was that I could see.  I was so irritated and claimed he was just trying to trick people for money by pulling people over so close to the speed limit change.  He agreed that he was indeed tricking people and doing it for money.  That bothered me even more.  Then the police officer corrected himself and said, "We're saving lives ma'am!"

I thought about my ticket the whole day.   I hadn't received a ticket for 5 years, and we definitely are not in a financial position to pay one now!  I prayed about it, and I was determined to find something good to come out of it anyway... nothing came.  Tickets just plain stink.

Today, I picked up my kids from their band classes, and we went on our 15 minute trek back home.

At the wide 4 lane street, I set my cruise control right at the speed limit while all the other cars whizzed past me.  Nobody was going the speed limit but me.  We entered the gated community and got to the speed bumps.  One of the "other drivers" was in front of us.  He came to his complete stop then creeeeeeped over the bump.  I didn't say a word this time about his pace, but Jackson did.

"This guy is going really slow.  He needs to hurry up," he called out in an impatient tone (not to the driver- just for us to hear in the car).

Trying really hard, I said to him, "Now Jackson, we can learn to be patient.  We're going to have plenty of time to do the things we need to do."

Jackson knew this was not characteristic of me.  He smiled real big and said, "Tyson told me about your ticket."

I grumbled, "Why is he telling everybody my business?"

Listening to Jackson and Tyson talk about the ticket made me realize the answer to my prayer wasn't about the ticket or how we were going to pay it.  It was about the speed bumps and speed limits that our current trials seem to be.

I realized that's what I feel like in this delay in my life with no job and no sense of permanency or purpose.  I feel like calling out, "We don't have time for this!  We need to hurry up!  We have other good things we could do without these 'speed bumps' of life."

Oh, but God knows better.  He is NOT trying to trick us.  His plan SAVE LIVES: our spiritual lives and the spiritual lives of all HIS children around us.  The more we trust HIS speed bumps and speed limits, the more HE can work with us to have better order in our sometimes chaotic lives.

It hit me powerfully.  I need to slow down.  Yesterday I told Tyson to not be in a rush like me, but today I am considering the possibility of changing me now!

I hate to say it, but maybe the darn ticket was good for me.  I often ask myself: "What would Jesus do?"

My image of Jesus is not one of him plowing past people to get to his next destination. The image I have of HIM is one of patience.  I will be slowing down my pace a bit.  Jesus is in charge, so that doesn't mean I will slow down my progress!  I can still be anxiously engaged in good causes and go 55- 70mph (figuratively speaking) when the time is right.  HIS plan and timing for me to accomplish my mission in life is perfect and flawless.