Throughout my thirty years of driving experience, I’ve come to know that blue lights flashing in your rear view mirror are usually never a good sign. But I saw them. Recently. On Saturday, July 14th, I was on my way to Concord, NC for a booksigning going through the small town speed trap known as Cowpens, SC. Now you have to understand how my month had gone up to this point. On July 3rd, after 2 and a half years of “sell this house in your time, Lord” we got a contract on our house—with a closing date of Aug 2nd. While still in a stupor over the fact that our house had sold, I was now saying, “Lord, I gotta buy a house before Aug 2nd. But which one?”
Fortunately, we had also been looking at houses for the past two and a half years, so we knew where we wanted to move. We’d also been pre-approved and all that jazz. On July 6th, we put an offer in on a house. And guess what the listing said, “$3,000 appliance bonus if buyer can take possession by July 31st.” The house was perfect. You know why? Because it was empty. No waiting on the people to move out so we could move in before Aug 2. And yes, I really like the house.
So after we put in our offer, the craziness really kicked in. Packing, inspections, financing, underwriters, more inspections, appraisals, the house has termites, oh no, the people who are buying your house may not actually be able to afford it. Oh, wait, yes they can…crazy, right? I mean I have been running around, rushing here, rushing there, buying furniture, filling out paperwork to enroll kids in school. You can probably imagine.
And now I have this booksigning.
July 14th arrives, I hop in the car and head off to Concord for the booksigning. I’m in a hurry. I’m always in a hurry these days. Hence, the blue lights in the rearview mirror. I pull over. He pulls over and approaches the vehicle.
“Where are you going ma’am?”
“To a booksigning in Concord. I was speeding wasn’t I?”
Officer Burnett nods “55 in a 35.”
I duck my head in shame. “I’m so sorry.”
“Ma’am, that’s 4 points and $433.”
I shrink into my seat. “Oh please have mercy.”
“Well, since you seem to be such a nice person, I’ll knock it to 2 points and $100.”
“Oh THANK YOU!” He hands me the ticket.
I say, “You realize I’m going to blog about this.”
“So, you’re a writer?”
“Um…yeah. Hey, you want a book?”
“What do write?”
I grin. “About law enforcement.”
I wish you could have seen the look on his face. I give him the book and we wave our goodbyes.
But before I pulled out of that gas station parking lot, I thought about something.
I’m racing through life too fast. Sometimes when you’re in the biggest hurry is when you need to slow down. I completely missed that 30MPH speed limit sign. What if a child had been playing along that street or someone decided to cross the road? Disaster could have happened. Thankfully that didn’t happen. Thankfully, I had a little wake up call. But when we’re hurry through life so fast, we often don’t see the signs God has for us along our journey in life. And we miss the stops he has planned for us. Sometimes God just has to slow us down for our own good and maybe to even keep us safe—and those around us safe. Sometimes he slows us down through illness or an unexpected financial issue or just whatever is going to get our attention off of ourselves and back on him. Sometimes, he has to slow us down long enough to show us what HIS plan is and let us know it might take a little longer to get to the final destination than WE planned on.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, not to harm you.” I want to encourage you today that if you’re hurrying through life and are missing the stops God has along the way for you, that you’ll slow it down and pay attention and let God keep your speed at just the right limit.