Written by: Sarah Walker
After sixteen years of driving, I received my first traffic ticket ever this week. It was not a great day, to say the least! My daughter, who was home sick from school that day and was in the car with me, thought it was great! She loves telling everybody, “Mommy got her first ticket ever today!”
The worst part is that I was two minutes from my house; I was in my own neighborhood!
Now for those of you who know me well, you may find this funny. I am constantly complaining about the drivers in my neighborhood. Everyone drives incredibly fast. People are always talking on their phones or texting. We have no sidewalks in our area, and I am often infuriated when people whip past us when we have our young kids out for a wagon ride or when they are riding their bikes in the driveway.
There have even been a handful of times where I have been jogging in my neighborhood and have had someone speeding right towards me, only to swerve away from me at the last minute because they had been texting and not paying attention to the road.
I, on the other hand, would never be so reckless. Especially when my kids are the in car with me, I always drive the speed limit, taking my time with everything.
This week, I drove up to an intersection with stop signs, where the posted speed limit is 10kmh, so you know I was already going incredibly slow. The corner was completely empty with no signs of life. I slowed right down to an almost stop and turned the corner, only to find a policeman on the next street, just waiting for people like me, with his lights already flashing, standing in the middle of the street and waving me over to the side of the road to receive my punishment.
My ticket says, “Disobey stop sign- failure to stop.” Had I slowed down a little bit more, I could have saved myself $110.
To be honest, at the time I thought was a bit harsh. I was not happy. There are way more unsafe people out there than me! But, as I thought about my “rolling stop” throughout the day, I had to admit that I had indeed broken the law, even if it was a smaller offence. I did it! In my grumbling, it was really easy to justify why there are so many other drivers out there that day that deserved a ticket WAY more than I did!
I can so easily do this with my sin. I can think that my sin doesn’t really count compared to someone else’s. “I would never do that!” I think to myself. Sometimes when looking at another’s sin, my secret struggles seem like nothing by my comparison!
Even though my ticket seemed silly compared to other “more serious” traffic offensives, I still broke the law. Like it or not, I deserved my ticket.
Even though I considered my traffic offence minor, it didn’t count as any less of an offence, and even though I may count many of my sins minor, it still doesn’t make them any less sin.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
My sin, whether small or great, gives me grounds to be separated from God forever, but because of Jesus’ glorious sacrifice of dying on the cross for me, I no longer receive that ticket I deserve, but instead I receive a wonderful pass to everlasting life.
What I thought was a trivial ticket, the police officer saw as a very real offense. He was just as concerned with a minor driving error as he was concerned with the big ones. All of it is unsafe for myself and others on the road. God is the same, He sees my sin the same as he does everyone else’s. All sin is unsafe, and is dangerous for me and others – which is why a loving God tells me to avoid it!
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
The good news is that, even in my sins and offences, God has wiped my sins and offences out! My ticket has been ripped up, and everything I’ve done, big and small, has been forgiven. My experience this week brought me new understanding into how I look at myself, and how I look at sin, and has made me even more grateful for what Jesus has done for me!