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The Speeding Ticket
Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down: 73 in a 55
zone. Fourth time in as many months. How could a guy get caught so often?
When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled over, but only
partially. Let the cop worry about the potential traffic hazard. Maybe
some other car will tweak his backside with a mirror. The cop was stepping
out of his car, the big pad in hand. Bob? Bob from Church? Jack sunk
farther into his trench coat. This was worse than the coming ticket. A
cop catching a guy from his own church. A guy who happened to be a little
eager to get home after a long day at the office. A guy he was about to
play golf with tomorrow.
Jumping out of the car, he approached a man he saw every Sunday, a man he'd
never seen in uniform. "Hi, Bob. Fancy meeting you like this."
"Hello, Jack." No smile. "Guess you caught me red-handed in a rush to see
my wife and kids." "Yeah, I guess." Bob seemed uncertain. Good.
"I've seen some long days at the office lately. I'm afraid I bent the
rules a bit - just this once." Jack toed at a pebble on the pavement.
"Diane said something about roast beef and potatoes tonight. Know what I
"I know what you mean. I also know that you have a reputation in our
Ouch. This was not going in the right direction. Time to change tactics.
"What'd you clock me at?" "Seventy. Would you sit back in your car please?"
"Now wait a minute here, Bob. I checked as soon as I saw you. I was
barely nudging 65." The lie seemed to come easier with every ticket.
"Please, Jack, in the car." Flustered, Jack hunched himself through the
Slamming it shut, he stared at the dashboard. He was in no rush to open
the window. The minutes ticked by. Bob scribbled away on the pad. Why
hadn't he asked for a driver's license? Whatever the reason, it would be a
month of Sundays before Jack ever sat near this cop again. A tap on the
door jerked his head to the left. There was Bob, a folded paper in hand.
Jack rolled down the window a mere two inches, just enough room for Bob to
pass him the slip.
"Thanks." Jack could not quite keep the sneer out of his voice. Bob
returned to his police car without a word. Jack watched his retreat in the
Jack unfolded the sheet of paper. How much was this one going to cost?
Wait a minute. What was this? Some kind of joke? Certainly not a ticket.
Jack began to read:
Jack turned around in time to see Bob's car pull away and head down the
road. Jack watched until it disappeared. A full 15 minutes later, he too,
pulled away and drove slowly home, praying for forgiveness, and hugging a
surprised wife and kids when he arrived. Life is precious. Handle with care.
Once upon a time I had a daughter. She was six when killed by a car. You
guessed it - a speeding driver. A fine and three months in jail, and the
man was free. Free to hug his daughters. All three of them. I only had
one, and I'm going to have to wait until Heaven before I can ever hug her
A thousand times I've tried to forgive that man. A thousand times I
thought I had. Maybe I did, but I need to do it again. Even now. Pray
And be careful, Jack, my son is all I have left."
This is an important message. Please pass it along to your friends.
Drive safely and carefully. Remember, cars are not the only things
recalled by their maker. Funny how you can send a thousand jokes' through
e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages
regarding the sanctity of life, people think twice about sharing. Funny
how when you go to forward this message, you will not send it to many on
your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they
will think of you for sending it to them. Pass this on, you may save a
life. Maybe not, but we'll never know if we don't try.
Only Love Prevails.
Are you a fast driver? That fact doesn't necessarily infer "unsafe." But do
you consistently drive more quickly than the speed limit posted? I know, I
know. There is always so much running around to do these hectic days: drop
off at school, pick up for ballet, music, sports, scouts, then get
everybody back home again for meals, homework and, finally, rest.
For a moment, stop. Consider this. How would you feel if a child of yours
was no longer with you because of a speeding driver? Then ask yourself how
you would feel if you were the one responsible for taking away the life of
someone else's child? Heartsick? At the very least, that!
One Saturday afternoon long, long ago, my Bill was driving along a
neighborhood street. He always was a cautious man and, this time, it saved
the life of a child. A little boy darted out between two parked cars right
into the path of Bill's car. Lucky for all, the child only had a bruise on
his shoulder. But Bill came home and threw up. Then he sat in shock for
hours, thanking God and all the Angels in Heaven for saving him from
hurting that little boy. It took him several days to get over it, but if
you'd asked him about it twenty years after the fact, he could still summon
the terror and pain he'd felt, and his gratitude that the child was unhurt.
Take care. Drive safely. All the rushing around we do every day, in the
name of enriching the lives of our children, will never measure up to the
value of a child's life that might be snuffed out because s/he wasn't
looking and you were driving too fast to react quickly enough.
Please don't condemn yourself to a lifetime of sorrow, should you hurt a
child with your vehicle. Be smart. Be careful. Drive safely. Thank you.