In December I was pulled over for "failing to stop at a Stop sign". It was seriously frustrating due to the fact that I DID actually STOP! After realizing the officer had predetermined that he would be kindly handing me a citation, I decided to sit quietly take my lumps and go on. That lasted about 10 whole minutes! Then the internal war began over the principle of the matter - I can't just roll over and take it! Can I? Of course not! I would fight this to the death!
[It doesn't take long to become so overwhelmed, exhausted, distracted, and consumed with the important things in life that you just begin to not care anymore about exerting the effort to fight for principle]
I arrived at the courthouse this afternoon (yes, today) with the plan of walking in, paying my fine, and going on with life as usual. Let's just get this dumb thing behind us, shall we. And then the nice lady behind the counter disrupted my whole plan - she screwed it up royally! She looked at me and simply said, "You realize that by paying the fine...you're pleading GUILTY?" [Very LONG PAUSE at this point] The hand with debit card extended began to draw back. The apathy that had allowed me to finally say, "Screw it! I'll just pay this and get it over with." was now gone. Vanished. But I still continued rationalizing. I told her, "I just don't want to make a fuss and argue about this". I even said, "I'm a pastor. I don't know if I feel right about fighting this." The other lady behind the counter - who evidently had nothing better to do - joined in by asking me, "Are you GUILTY?" - to which I defensively retorted, "NO!" Which led me right back to the question staring me in the face: WHY? Why would you take the easy way out? Why would you essentially say, "OK. I'll pretend I did it."? Especially when compromising was going to cost $144? Seriously.
So thanks to my 2 new friends at the courthouse speaking up - and the unwillingness of my integrity to simply lay down and roll over - I now have a court date. I don't want to argue. I have no desire for a fight. I simply want to share the truth and believe that it will set me free! Sure, I want out of paying this stupid fine. But more than that, I don't want those 2 ladies behind the counter at Madison City Hall to think I ran that Stop sign! As if!
[And at worst, maybe the Judge will cut my fine in half. That would be AWESOME!]
Been there? Struggled with this? I'd love to hear about it!