Yesterday morning, I received a traffic citation. The offense? A beauty of a ‘rolling stop.’ You know what a rolling stop is, right? You come to a stop sign, but don’t stop completely—you simply tap the brake to give the illusion of stopping, but your forward momentum keeps on going.
This happened to me within 0.3 of a mile from my home when I was taking my oldest daughter to school. We were running a couple of minutes late and I didn’t want her to have a tardy (which, it turns out, she wouldn’t have—so poor excuse #1). So, being new to the neighborhood (poor excuse #2), I wasn’t used to that stop sign being in such an odd place, so I hit it too quickly and rolled through. I saw the policeman and told my daughter, “I bet he nailed me.” And he did—adding insult to injury by pulling into the school parking lot behind me to get my paperwork. The result? $100!
My human nature and the devil were trying to make me angry on this front: “C’mon! I was late for school and new to the neighborhood—why couldn’t he understand?” Just like an athlete griping at the referees for the bad call at the end of the game. The principle applies: I shouldn’t have let it get to that stage. I could have blamed to police officer, but if I had just stopped, none of this would have happened.
We can blame God and other people all we want for how our world is today. But the fact is, we permit selfishness and sinfulness in the most basic tasks of our day. Much of our issues lies with whether our attitudes and actions are gospel-gripped or not!
Don Whitney says that most of the issues of our lives deal with either the clock or the cash (time or money). I was enslaved by time (being late) and it cost me money (the ticket)—and I have no one else to blame but myself. Lay off the excuses and take responsibility!