This afternoon I was headed back to the office from a lunch with a new friend from church. I stopped at an intersection near my house (heading West) and a police officer arrived at the stop sign at the same time (heading North). After I stopped...I turned and went. He followed. And then the fun began. The lights came on. I was being pulled over - BUSTED! I quickly reconciled that I was finally going to get punished for my out-of-date Kansas plate. Surely that was it. Right?
The officer approached my car and informed me, "I pulled you over b/c you failed to come to a complete stop at Gillespie and Balch." Instantly I thought, "WHAT? Are you crazy? Were you actually THERE?" Notice at the beginning of my story I said I "stopped" at the intersection. I've gotten pulled over before. I've had tickets for speeding. Most of which I simply paid b/c I knew I was wrong and that was that. But this was absurd. I know what it means to stop and I was stopped! What kind of insane world are we living in anyways?
Allow me to vent. I think it should be explained that there's a difference in NOT STOPPING and NOT WAITING YOUR TURN! I'm not sure if the officer was mad or upset b/c I cut in line and it was his turn, but my understanding is that if you arrive at a Stop sign simultaneously you yield to the person on the RIGHT - thus the term "RIGHT of way". And even if he was there before me, I waited for him to go and he just sat there. I turned. But before any of this yielding, turning, cutting - whatever you want to call it took place - I STOPPED! This is just plain flat unfair!
This is the point where a question entered my mind: Who ever said anything about being FAIR?
I know I wanted personal justice here - I wanted this duty-inspired Deputy to acknowledge that I hadn't done anything wrong. But my justice was being handed back to me in a counterfeit IOU. It wasn't coming! And as I drove away I started thinking about this story of a man in a garden in the dead of night. His friends were about to abandon, betray and deny him. He was overwhelmed with the grief and burden of knowing that he was about to be arrested, beaten, whipped, mocked, spit on, stabbed, and nailed to a cross to be crucified...all for things that he had never done. He didn't run the Stop sign! The crimes weren't his! He was paying a debt for the crimes, passions, rebellion, and sin of everyone who would ever live. Except himself. Not guilty - yet bearing the burden of ALL guilt. And I began to wonder, "Did it ever cross his mind to think, 'This is simply not FAIR!'"
Who said anything about being FAIR?
I emphatically without a doubt did NOT run this Stop sign today. But I've run one before. Probably more than once. And never got pulled over. So this is where I close my mouth - breathe in very deep - and allow the overwhelming grace, mercy, and unconditional love of my Savior to wash over me and remind me that my life is not about fair. Because if things were fair and God gave me what I deserved...I would be desperately begging for a whole new meaning of fairness.
Sometimes you should just pay the ticket - close your mouth - and look and listen for what the Lord is trying to tell you!
2 Corinthians 5:21
1 Peter 2:18-25