the_ticket2His lights flashed. My heart fell.

Another ticket. Another ticket! It’s all I could think. How can I have gotten another ticket??

I admit that back in my early years of driving, I had a bit of a ‘record.’ But the sting of those fines and some experience taught me better driving skills and it had been years and years since I’d been stopped by a friendly police officer for my speed.

And then we moved to Arizona. And in 18 months, I’ve gotten three speeding tickets. No, really.

I could blame this on my California-bred driving style – being used to doing 90% of my driving on freeways at 60+mph. I could tell you that now, I only spend about 20% of my driving time on freeways and that the 45 mph limit I find everywhere makes me feel like I might as well get out and walk! But none of those are really excuses. I was breaking the law. Again and again.

Again and Again

And getting caught. Again and again.

It’s interesting that most states have in place a system by which you can redeem yourself from these traffic tickets. Once every two years (or so), a driver is allowed to attend an eight-hour driving school class which effectively erases the stain of the ticket on your record. After my first ticket, I happily sat through the class in order to get a free pass.

But I’m all out of free passes. Instead I must pay the penalty. The very hefty financial penalty. The how-many-nice-dates-could-we-have-gone-on-for-this-much-money kind of penalty. And I’ve had to pay it twice.

I’ll also probably be punished by my lovely insurance company. The payments just go on and on. Because of my transgression.

Oh how thankful I am that the Lord doesn’t have a two-year redemption clause. I would sure be in trouble if forgiveness came from heaven the same way it comes from the state of Arizona.

I’m so grateful that his mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23), that He bore the penalty for my sins and transgression (Romans 5:8, 9), and that I’m not longer forever condemned by the laws of this world (Romans 7:6). Heavenly grace is such a beautiful contrast to what we see around us in this sinful world. Though I wasn’t happy about the tickets, I praise the Lord for glimpses of that grace.