I had just topped out over a rise in the road, the speedometer had crept up higher than I realized, and it only dawned on me when I saw the flashing lights in the rearview mirror.
Maybe you have experienced what it’s like to push on the gas to get up a hill and then forgetting you need to stop pushing when you near the top.
A vehicle rarely needs any help from your pedal foot when it nears the top of a hill and starts going down the other side.
I had not intended to speed.
(OK, maybe a few miles per hour over the limit, but only a very few.)
But I found myself going enough miles per hour over the limit to have attracted the attention of the State Trooper.
At the time, my job had me on the road more than usual.
I became sloppy about the speed limit.
And now, the flashing lights announced to me and all passing motorists that my sloppiness had crossed an important line.
The encounter with the Trooper was uneventful in and of itself.
He gave me a ticket.
He drove away.
I merged back onto the highway and made my way home.
A few miles per hour under the speed limit.
A few miles per hour slower meant that I arrived home a few moments later than if I had driven faster.
But I arrived home safely and, oddly, exceptionally calm.
Finding their way into my thoughts were words from a Bible verse I had read just the week before getting the speeding ticket.
The passage was Hebrews 12:11:
“Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
To this day, whenever I find myself edging over the speed limit, I remember that verse.
I slow down, enjoy the view, and smile.
I’ve struggled in recent months to find the time and energy to write. A group of writers proposed writing something every day for the month of October, based on a one word prompt, and writing in just five minutes – no worrying about perfect grammar or always being poignant or well-polished. I’m giving it a go in an effort to jump start my writing. For the one word prompts, I’m going to follow along with The Upper Room’s Sight Psalms. They put out a picture a day and apply one word and a short reflection. If you are reading this, thanks for accompanying me for this experiment in motivation and discipline.