speed limits

There’s not a person I know who actually drives the speed limit- all the time. Hey, I live in Atlanta, so that might have something to do with it. Really, if you attempt to drive 55 on the interstates here in our fine city when there’s not gridlock during drive time or accident time, you will endanger your life and the lives of other wonderful non law abiding citizens. 65 mph is about right most days… at least.

If you’re like me, and I know I am, even on the neighborhood roads, you go faster than the speed limit. That was me, until I got a ticket for going 49 in a 35 a few years ago. There is no feeling like knowing you’ve been busted, and there is no getting out of it, no matter how you want to try and spin it. You. Are. Busted. The really bad part is because we have allowed our driving speed to “creep” higher and higher over time (hey, there’s no other cars out, the road is straight and it’s a four lane, for crying out loud) when we are busted, it’s a fairly big offense. And then there’s the time I left my car parked out front of my son’s elementary school while I ran in to pick him up from the After School Program, (and yeah I was parked- like every other parent usually does- in the empty, vacant, ghost town of a fire lane that is jammed up beyond imagination before school and no fire truck could get to the school for 45 minutes if it had to), and the cop came out from his hiding place in the bushes (literally!) to write me a ticket, but told me to leave the car parked there and go ahead and get my son while he wrote the ticket, which took ten minutes. I thought the idea was to keep the fire lane clear, hence the reason for my $135 ticket. But I’m not bitter. I know the county needs money.

Hey, can I tell you we do the speed limit thing with God’s laws too? All of us do the “Everybody else is going this fast” thing, or the “This is an exception this time because” deal, or “I can handle this speed safely” story. The truth will win out at some point. The truth. Will. Win. Out. It’s the design of our spiritual existence, and we will have no excuse when it does. We might get mad at the cop for writing the ticket (not me!), but the speed limit was posted, and we knew. We might get mad at God when we have no excuse for our overstepping His laws in the light of His Word.- but get this- God gave us all of His Word for our protection and pleasure.  He didn’t try to surprise us by finding out the hard way. He let us know what we need to know so we could navigate life safely and with satisfaction.

The only speed limits God gives us are warning signs in certain areas of life to prevent us from crashing and burning spiritually. Contrary to what many people, followers and skeptics alike, may think, God’s laws don’t all say “Thou shalt not.” So many more say, “Go for it- in all of life’s abundance, because I love you beyond measure!”

Life’s a lot easier and less painful if we follow God’s directives.

Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.

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