A lesson learned in traffic court

Jon Wyminga learns the lesson of taking ownership of what we do

I got a speeding ticket several years ago. I was caught still cruising at 100 just past the sign that said 80 km/h. Within seconds I would have been braking since I was planning a left turn into someone’s driveway. I told the story to a guy I work with and he said, “I’d fight it!”

Well, that’s what I decided to do – I fought it.  Several months later I went to court with a big hand drawn map of that stretch of road and all kinds of explanations of why I really wasn’t driving dangerously or breaking the intent of the law.

Eventually my turn came and when I asked to show the judge my map he rolled his eyes. That’s when I knew it wasn’t going to go well. I left court that day with the same fine I came with and a strong dose of humiliation to go along with it.

Earlier, during that court sitting, a young man appeared before the same judge. He said, “I know what I did was wrong but I can’t manage the fine. Could I have a bit of a break?”  That was a different approach!  He left court that day with a reduced fine.  Wow! I came trying to justify and rationalize my actions and got humiliated. He came admitting his fault and received mercy. Could this be a lesson in how to approach God?  It sure reminds me of a story Jesus once told. It’s in Luke 18:9-14.  You may want to look it up in a Bible or online. It also gives me something to think about in this season of Lent when those of us who follow Jesus reflect on all that he did for us in his life, death and resurrection.

Jon Wyminga is pastor of the Cariboo Presbyterian Church in Nazko.