For all have sinned

Published 2:15 pm Sunday, September 10, 2023

Just tootling along — that would have been an accurate description if left to my observation. I had just delivered a birthday present and was on my way home. It was a back road with seldom any heavy traffic. As I was clearing a hill I spotted him up to my left on a small incline and under a tree. “Him” was a police car with a driver!

Instinct kicked in and I lifted my foot off the gas pedal. Good enough I thought to myself as I motored on past the parked vehicle.  I looked in my rear view mirror just to make certain, and the infamous blue lights began strobing from the now moving vehicle. I looked in both directions. I was the only driver on the road. It was ME he was after!

My memory is not what it used to be — I’ll admit, but I cannot remember ever being pulled over by a policeman or highway patrolman. I’ve sat in the passenger seat several times while Othel had to reach for his drivers’ license, but never this law-abiding motorist!

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I parked as far off the road as possible and waited the verdict. The officer slowly pulled in behind me and in the same unhurried mode, opened his car door and approached my window with a “Hello.”

I handed him my drivers’ license that I had already briskly removed from my wallet. I didn’t wait for his sentence. “I must have been speeding,” I said in a tone of confession.

“Do you know the speed limit and how fast you were driving on this street?” He asked in a polite voice.

I told him I didn’t know the answer to either question. “You were going 50 mph in a 35 mph speed zone.”

“Really?!” I said in a totally truthful reply. I was alone on that street — passing no cars and meeting no cars. I’m not what one would call a speedster behind the wheel, but 35 mph is not a normal speed for me when on a street like this one.

The officer excused himself with my license and returned to his car. My mind ran on at 70 mph!

Would God intervene because of my birthday good deed or would I pay for my breaking the law? How much would this absent minded, not-paying-attention-to-the-speed limit cost me? Was I sorry for breaking the law or sorry that I got caught?

The officer’s return slowed down my speeding brain as he handed me my driver’s license with my blue ticket. With a muffled groan, I took the ticket and saw in big letters across it: Warning.

With an overflowing heart of gratitude, I thanked the officer and promised to heed the speed limit when motoring in the future.

Then I pulled back onto the street and thanked God for the officer’s mercy followed by a cascade of praise for my Savior writing FORGIVEN across my universal ticket that states: “For all have sinned …”

Letters to Camille Anding may be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602.