I have been driving for 32 years. I fancy myself a good driver because in 32 years I have never been pulled over by a police officer. Never pulled over, never ticketed.
I had a spotless driving record. And I was proud of that. Who wouldn’t be?
My fantasy ended Monday. Monday I was heading into work, enjoying a new CD, singing and in a very good mood. As I approached 12 Mile I saw flashing lights in my rear-view mirror. I pulled over. Turned off the CD. Rolled my window down and waited.
The officer approached and asked if I knew why he was pulling me over. I had no idea. He told me I was speeding, going 15 mph above the posted limit. He asked for my driver’s license, registration, proof of insurance. I found them all and handed them to him. He asked me about my driving record and I told him, it was spotless. This was the first time I had ever been pulled over. He walked back to his car.
He returned with a ticket. Graciously, he gave me a ticket that would not show up on my record with points, it would not trigger notice to my insurance company. It would, however, cost me a good deal of money.
And so it ended. My beautiful driving record that had no tickets was gone. Ruined.
Life is like a driving record. It can appear spotless, perfect, without trespass.
But you know, just because I had never received a traffic ticket, didn’t mean I had never deserved one. I had never been caught- speeding, or making a mistake or breaking the law. It didn’t mean I was a perfect driver, it meant I looked like a perfect driver.
Sometimes we can look pretty good. That doesn’t mean we are. Just because people don’t see all my thoughts/actions, doesn’t mean all my thoughts/actions are right. We can look good, but that doesn’t mean we are good.
My “perfect” driving record, of which I was so proud, was a sham. I don’t know how fast I was driving Monday, only because I was too busy singing to notice. But I know I have driven above the posted limit on other days.
I deserved that ticket, and I have deserved many more. How happy I am that I have not received as many tickets as I deserve. I couldn’t afford it!
I can’t afford to pay the penalty for my life record either. Thank God I don’t have to.