Thursday, 19 October 2017

M Michele's Musings

Tale of Two Tickets

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Recently I received two speeding tickets within nine days of each other.  Oh, woe is me!   Both times I was traveling on roads that I was unfamiliar with.  The first ticket was on Ryan Street and unbeknownst to me the speed limit had been reduced since I had last traveled that way.  Despite my ignorance of the actual speed limit, I was also daydreaming and traveling a bit faster than I should have been.  The second ticket was received on a new road built as a crossover between two major roads.  I had never been on this road before.  I didn’t notice the speed limit sign as I turned onto the road but assumed because it was in a non-residential, non-business area that the speed limit was at least 45.   I was nonchalantly traveling at a speed of 47 MPH when I saw a police car hiding behind a large sign.  When I passed, I saw lights flash on and the police car pulled on to the road.  To my astonishment it was me that he was chasing!  I quickly learned that the speed limit was 25 and to my dismay, I was written my second ticket that month.  I fought back tears while thoughts of “this just can’t be happening again” ran though my mind. 

It had been over thirty years since I was issued a speeding ticket.  My near-perfect record was gone in less than a month.   The first ticket cost a pretty penny but thankfully did not go on my record due to a new program.  My second ticket was another matter completely and became somewhat of a nightmare.  When the time came to pay the second ticket, I was very busy.  I forgot about the ticket and missed my court date.  Two days later the court date popped in my head.  I told a friend about missing my court date.  She learned that there was a bench warrant issued for my arrest.  My friend acted quickly without telling me about the bench warrant because she knew I would have panicked, had I known.  All I knew was that an attorney was checking on my ticket.  I later learned the attorney had to do some serious pleading for my reprieve.   However, she was successful and the bench warrant for my arrest was recalled before I even knew it had been issued.     

Thankfully, not long after, I learned that the Judge had mercifully reduced the second speeding ticket to a lesser violation and fine which was a blessing because the original ticket would have cost $240!  I thought the matter was over until two weeks later when I received a letter that my license had been revoked!  I then had to prove that the ticket was taken care of and send in $100 to have my license reinstated.  It was quite an ordeal.  Now when I look back I can laugh about the whole experience.  For a few weeks afterwards, everyone teased me, calling me a criminal.     

What is bizarre is that I am not a speeder by nature.  In fact, most people don’t like to follow me and when driving with me they constantly urge me to go faster.  I realized from this experience that I hadn’t paid attention to Lake Charles’ speed limit signs in years.  Before the tickets there were roads I traveled on but I couldn’t have told you the speed limit.  Some of those roads were within a stone’s throw from where I have worked for over eight years.  Suddenly the speed limit signs were glaringly brilliant and larger than life.  They were everywhere and they were set at much lower speeds than I had realized. 

There are obvious lessons that the experience taught me.  Pay attention to road signs!  Don’t speed!  On the other hand, there are hidden life parallels tucked within the experience as well.  We all travel both familiar and unfamiliar roads at different times in our lives.  Even on familiar roads, subtle changes take place that stop us in our tracks; life throws us unexpected surprises along the way.   Then there are new paths that we travel which are unfamiliar.  We drive straight into those experiences with boldness thinking, “I got this,” only to be sidelined when unexpected troubles chase us down and try to run us over.  The road of life can be smooth but it is inevitable that we will encounter bumps, pot holes, detours and the law at one time or another.

Despite the different roads that I chose to travel on those two particular days, I was not willfully speeding.  Between my daydreaming and ignorance of the speed limit I was pulled over and both times given a precursor to impending judgment.  I had no real excuse and couldn’t argue or cry my way out of the tickets.  I had clearly broken the law despite my ignorance or the fact that I was not intentionally speeding. This happens all the time in everyday life.  There are times that although we try to be on our best behavior we will get into trouble anyway.  We all make mistakes whether intentional or unintentional.  Breaking the law and getting caught always comes with a price.  By the time all was said and done, I forked out about $250 in fines.  However, it could have been so much worse.  Thankfully, I had an attorney working on my behalf.  She helped me get out of the trouble I was in by inadvertently missing my court date.  She pled my case and saved me from a possible trip to jail.   Eventually the charges were reduced to a lesser charge and with that, a much smaller fine. 

The whole scenario brings to mind several different points.  We all sin.  The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.”  Sin is simply missing the mark, missing the set standard.  Sin always brings consequences, “For the wages of sin is death.”    Romans 6:23a    Therefore, since we have all missed the mark of God’s perfect standard we all need an advocate to go before the Supreme Judge and plead our case.   God in his infinite mercy did just that for us when He gave us His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross for us and shed His blood for the sins of the world.   Jesus became our advocate with the Father.  1st John 2:12 tells us, “My little children, these things write I unto you that ye may not sin. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world."  God is so good.  He gave us a promise: “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23b

In the same way that my attorney was my advocate with the speeding ticket dilemma and saved me from the judgment I deserved, Jesus provides the narrow way of escape from eternal judgment that we all deserve.  Will you trust Him to be your advocate today?  Will you accept His free gift?  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

 

Love in Christ, Michele

Copyright March 2014 ~ Michele LeDoux Abshire\

Columnist: Michele's Musings

Picture Michele Abshire is a housewife, mother, grandmother, and full time legal assistant. She has been published in Lake Charles, Louisiana publications, Christian Star Newspaper and Gumbeaux Magazine.  

Michele began writing notes of encouragement to people God put on her heart which led her in the direction of writing short encouraging stories, letters, essays and analogies.  This quickly became a ministry for her.  

Michele's vision is to reach people with encouraging messages that will lift their heart and bring joy for sorrow and hope for discouragement. Michele enjoys your feedback so leave a comment in the form at the bottom of the page or email her at  

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