A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

The Ticket

November 16th, 2008

February 22, 1994. Mesa, Arizona.

I’m running late.

I hate to be late. I’d rather be everywhere early. Except for maybe a dentist appointment. But other than that, just get me there early so I can stand in line and wait and relax knowing that at least I’m not late.

But this day I’m late. I left the driveway in a hurry. You know the kind of hurry I’m talking about. The throw your briefcase in the back seat, stick your coffee mug on the dash, put on your sunglasses, look both ways and fly down the road kind of hurry. I remember taking a deep breath on the 39th Street/Superstition overpass. “After I pick up Jeremy, I’ll be going opposite all the bad traffic”, I said out loud to myself.

One block later, I’m not alone anymore.

I hate red and blue lights. Especially when they flash. They make me tense every time I see them. Even when I haven’t done anything wrong.

A glance at the speedometer tells me this isn’t one of those times.

Anyone who claims they can’t think on their feet, or on their seat as it were, has never been pulled over by a cop. In the 20 seconds it took him to prop up his motorcycle and walk up to my door I had developed, processed and discarded 33 possible explanations for my excessive rate of travel. As I pushed the button to lower the electric window, only one explanation remained.

I was speeding. And I was busted.

“May I see your license and registration please?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Going a little fast for this area, don’t you think?”

“Yes, sir.”

“It’s 35 miles per hour here. Are you aware of the signs?”

“Yes, sir.”

“You were doing 49 in a 35. Are you aware there are kids in this neighborhood?”

“Yes, sir.”

Normally, I like knowing the answers to questions. But in this moment, my knowledge is killing me. I’m getting an A+ at being 100% guilty.

Painful as this is, I thought, I can handle these questions as long as he doesn’t ask me where I was going. Because then I’d have to tell him that I was on my way to a seminary class on the Old Testament. In fact, on the seat beside me is an observation paper from 2nd Samuel chapter 7. It’s the chapter where God says to David, “…when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men.”

Thankfully, he doesn’t ask me where I was going. He picked another question instead.

“Were you wearing your seat belt?”

When you’re in the middle of deep conviction, it really hurts to be reminded that you’ve been double dumb.

After he completed the paperwork and signed me off, he rode away. I wanted to be mad at him. I wanted to blame it all on the cop. Like didn’t he have anything better to do than sit behind a blind corner on a secondary street when there were real criminals running around who deserved to be caught. But I couldn’t be mad at anyone but myself. I was speeding. I was wrong. I broke the law.

I got caught. I was busted.

I hate to be late.

So I paid my $100 fine a few days early.

“Everyone wants to see justice done…to somebody else.”– Bruce Cockburn


Todd A. Thompson – www.ASliceOfLifeToGo.com