The Unfortunate Incident
Busted. It happened one day last week when I was on my way to an appointment. I knew what was coming as soon as I glanced over and saw the police car in the parking lot — the one waiting for people like me to go whizzing by.
I pressed on the brakes hoping the officer would not notice my speed. I slowed down again as I crossed the railroad tracks. But then, as I looked in my rearview mirror, flashing lights. Rats! I was already running late for my doctor’s appointment, now I was really going to be late.
The conversation went something like this:
Police Officer: Ma’am, do you know what the speed limit is?
Me: Yes, sir (honestly, I didn’t and I’m not even sure how fast I was going but I figured respect and politeness would be a good thing).
Police Officer: Is there a reason you were going so fast?
Me: Well, I just got off the interstate and every semi-truck in Florida was traveling the stretch I was on and I was just so frustrated and I’m running late for an appointment.
Police Officer: Well, you’re not going to get there any faster now, are you?
Me: No, sir.
Long awkward wait while he checked my license and registration.
Police Officer as he handed me my driver’s license: Here you go, this would have been a $248 ticket and 3 points on your license.
Me: Thank you, sir. I will slow down.
Two Lessons Learned
(1) First of all, it was a great illustration of something we talked about in our Connect Group at church last week. The difference between grace and mercy. Simply stated, grace is receiving something you don’t deserve. Mercy is not receiving something you should have, something you do deserve.
The police officer showed me a great deal of mercy by not giving me a speeding ticket. I absolutely deserved it. I did not have a good reason to be speeding other than the fact that I was running late. There was no use crying or begging him not to give me a ticket. There was no reason for me to plead my case. I knew I was guilty yet he showed me mercy. Thank you, Lord.
(2) Secondly, it was a glaring reminder of my biggest faults. I confess, I am a terribly unorganized procrastinator. Any errand or trip will find me running back into my house for some item I’ve left behind — car keys, sunglasses, cell phone. I usually end up leaving at least five or ten minutes after my scheduled departure.
That is what happened on the fateful day of my run in with the merciful policeman. I didn’t have my stuff together, from what I was going to wear to some information I needed to take with me. Instead of being prepared, I was rushing around gathering things which caused me to leave late which caused me to drive too fast which caused me to end up on the side of the road with a police car’s flashing lights announcing my transgression. (Luckily, I was in a neighboring town so I don’t think anyone recognized me.)
You know, I thought I would be more organized in my empty nest life. I thought not having to take care of anyone would help me focus on staying organized. That hasn’t happened and at this stage in my life, I’m not sure if it ever will. I’m still going to give it my best shot. Miracles do happen.
Funny thing is my daughter is very organized. I wonder if living with me made her think “ok, I don’t want to be like that”. At least I offered some motivation.
I got to thinking about heaven after my police encounter. I came to the conclusion that once we are in heaven we will either be completely organized since we will have glorified bodies or there will be no need for organizational skills because it will be perfect. Either way, it sounds amazing to me! I will no longer be a frustrated, unorganized procrastinator.
How about you? Anybody else frustrated by your lack of organizational skills? Better yet, can anybody out there help a girl out? I would love to read your comments.