Slow Down...It's Worth the Minute
Jack took a long look at his speedometer. 73 in a 55 mph speed zone. Fourth time in as many months. How could a guy get caught so often. When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled over, but only partially. Let the cop worry about the potential traffic hazard. Maybe some other car would tweak his backside with a mirror.
The cop was stepping out of his car, a big ticket pad in hand. Bob? Bob from Church? Jack sunk further into his trench coat. This was worse than the impending ticket. A cop catching a guy from his own church. A guy who happened to be a little eager to get home after a long day at the office. A guy he was about to play golf with tomorrow.
Jumping out of the car, he approached the man he say every Sunday. A man he'd never seen in uniform.
"Hey, Bob. Fancy meeting you like this."
"Hello, Jack." No smile.
"Guess you caught me red-handed in a rush to see my wife and kids."
"Yeah, guess I did."
Bob seemed uncertain. Good.
"I've seen some long days at the office lately. I'm afraid I bent the rules a bit, just this once." Jack toes at a lone pebble on the pavement. "Diane said something about roast beef and potatoes, tonight. Know what I mean?"
"I know what you mean, Jack. I also know you've got some reputation in our precinct."
Ouch, this wasn't going in the right direction. Time to change tactics.
"What did you clock me at?"
"Seventy. Would you sit back in your car, please?"
"Now wait a minute here, Bob. I checked as soon as I saw you. I was barely nudging 65."
The lie seemed to come easier with every ticket.
"Please, Jack, in your car."
Flustereed, Jack hunched himself through the still open door. Slamming it shut, he stared at the dashboard. He was in no rush to open the window.
The minutes ticked by. Bob scribbled away on his pad. Whay hadn't he asked for a driver's license? Whatever the reason, it would be a month of Sundays before Jack ever sat near this cop again.
A tap on the door jerked his head to the left. There was Bob, a folded paper in hand. Jack rolled down the window a mere two inches. Just enough room for Bob to pass him the slip.
"Thanks." Jack couldn't keep the sneer from his voice.
Bob returned to his police car without a word. Jack watched his retreat in the mirror, then unfolde the piece of paper. How much was this one going to cost? Wait a minute. What was this? Some kind of joke? Certainly not a ticket. Jack began to read:
Once upon a time I had a daughter. She was just six when a car struck and killed her. Nothing more than a speeding driver in a rush. A fine and three months in jail, and the man was free. Free to hug his daughters, all three of them. I only had one daughter and now I will have to wait until Heaven before I can ever hug her again.
A thousand times I've tried to forgive that man. A thousand times I thought I had. Maybe I did, but I need to do it again. Even now.
Pray for me and be careful, Jack. My son is all I have left.
Jack turned around in time to see Bob's car pull away and head down the road. Jack watched until it disappeared. A full fifteen minutes later, he too, pulled away and drove slowly home, praying for forgiveness and hugging a surprised wife and kids when he arrived home.
Life is precious. Handle with care.
Drive safely and remember, cars are not the only things recalled by their maker.