Monday, December 7, 2009

Enforced.

The other day, I was driving home from work when I saw flashing lights in the oncoming lane.  Instinctively, I checked my speedometer. Nope, couldn't be me.  Whew.  As I watched in my rear view mirror, a truck in the opposite lane made its way onto the shoulder, an unmarked car sliding in behind it.

Ooh, I hate those unmarked cars.  As a rule, I'm pretty strict about following the speed limit, but that doesn't keep my heart from skipping a beat when I see those lights (especially because those few times I've been late....yeah).  To be on the safe side, I employ the use of cruise whenever possible, but traffic around here is unpredictable -- it's not always an option.

I love getting stuck behind a car that's going the speed limit.  Really.  Once I've followed them for a while to ensure that they're being careful and consistent, I only need to maintain the proper amount of distance between my car and theirs, before zoning off into my own thoughts.  My only responsibility is to make sure that I don't end up tailgating them.  Simple, really.  Kind of like an external version of cruise.

But then I have a problem.  When I'm not behind a car that's dutifully traveling along at the speed limit (and I can't use cruise), I have to be on my guard.  Which means watching for speed limit signs, those flashing school zone lights, and those annoying things that switch between red and green and yellow at intersections.  Stuff that I just might be out of practice for.

How about you?  Are you a good driver -- or do you depend on the conformity of others to ensure your own adherence to the law?

As with driving under controlled circumstances, growing up as a "good Christian kid" in a "good Christian family" has its own special insurance policy.  It's likely that you won't end up in a variety of messes, just by default.  But when the big test comes -- when those familiar safeguards are removed -- how do you respond?

That's when you figure out if your convictions are your own, or if they were merely gained by assimilation.  I posted earlier about "accidental virginity" -- a few thoughts by Gabriel and Becka Anast.  I think Becka's comment in particular, applies here.

Becka says, "A few weeks after I married Gabe, he told me something funny. He said one of the things he most valued about me was that I wasn’t an “accidental” virgin. He said he had met conservative home schooled youth from a dozen families who were virgins just by happenstance. They hadn't personally made a choice to be pure. The parents had made that choice for them - which is good - but the kids had never made that choice for themselves.  He said there was no telling how many of them would have given away their virginity if they had been placed in new circumstances and allowed to do whatever they pleased.

"Have you made a choice yet? Are you doing as much as you can get away with in the confines of your parents' ruling, or are you personally walking after the Spirit of God? Do your convictions change with the crowd you're in, or do you know who you are?"

Have you made a commitment to do the right thing, regardless of the people around you?  Or are you hanging around hoping the safeguards won't be removed, that you won't eventually be forced to compromise?  Life is too short to hope or make guesses.

Driving is more than just avoiding a ticket.  It's about making a conscious decision to be safe and obey the law -- on your own -- regardless of the circumstances, people, pressure, convenience, feelings.  Then, when you see flashing lights, there'll be no reason for your heart to ever skip a beat.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

lol, i got pulled over today

Allie said...

Omg I do that all the time too!!! I'm so bad at following speed limits these days gotta depend on someone else who will. This post was really thought provoking. Do we obey because someone/something else is making it easy or because we believe it for ourself?

Ray said...

Thanx 4 the insight.

Rick said...

I like the analogy but how do you reason cruise into it?

An√łnymous said...

Yesterday I was with my roommate and he got pulled over for speeding - they said it was a school zone. Neither of us saw the signs...there were some truckers on our right that probably blocked the view.

But yeah - I wonder how many "good Christian kids" would have gone completely wild if given the opportunity.