As I raced along to a lunch date today, my thoughts drifted to my ongoing battle with speeding.
I heard a sermon once, was heavily convicted about speeding and stopped driving over the speed limit altogether for quite some time. Gradually I began going further and further beyond the speed limit again, and soon I entered into a cycle of speeding, feeling convicted, stopping, and speeding again.
I slowed my pace and began to think about some questions I wanted to throw out to you for your response. I promise my intention is not to be on a soapbox about your decision to speed or not. This issue is simply curious to me, for the following reasons.
- When and why did it become “ok” to ignore this particular law? We take other laws seriously. Why do we get to pick and choose the ones we want to abide by? -“I figure a cop won’t pull me over unless I’m doing more than 10 mph above the limit. So I try to stay within that range.”
- What other law do we constantly justify that it’s okay to break? – “I’m only going 5 miles an hour over the speed limit.”
- Why do we trust our own judgment of vehicle and road safety and assume the people who put the limits into place did so arbitrarily? – “Why did they set the speed limit to 35 mph here? It’s wide open and there’s never anyone around!”
- And when we are caught, sometimes we’re even incredulous that we receive a penalty for our disobedience. – “I can’t believe he gave me a ticket! I wasn’t even going as fast as the others around me!”
If we’re not doing anything wrong, why is it when we’re zooming down the highway and see a cop our hearts skip a beat, we instinctively hit the brakes, and then constantly check our rear view mirror to detect any flashing lights behind us (not that I speak from experience . . .)?
God has allowed our government to have authority over us, yet in this particular area we choose to ignore that authority. (Now, I’m not trying to open a discussion around when we need to choose God over our government. I mean, we’re talking about speeding. We can’t say God would prefer for us to speed. And even if we felt the speed limit is wrong – are you seeking to understand why the speed limit was put into place? are you doing anything to try to change that? or are you just ignoring it and doing your own thing?) I think we, as Christians, have to wrestle with the idea that speeding is a blatant act of rebellion. We don’t tolerate that kind of attitude in our kids or in other areas, but when is the last time you repented for speeding?
I realize I speed because I am in a hurry, rushing from here to there and because – usually – I am late. So even the speeding itself is more symptomatic of other issues. A need to slow down. A need to do less. A need to plan ahead. A need to be respectful of other people’s time. . .
So anyway, if you saw me driving down the highway this afternoon lost in thought, this is what I was thinking about. I’m curious to know your input.