Friday, November 2, 2007

My Day in Court

Well, I finally had my day in court for my speeding ticket. It wasn't as scary as I had thought it would be. It was more weird than anything. The courtroom was packed and the judge spent several minutes explaining our rights, the procedures, etc. She then said that the majority of us would merely be paying fines, then the rest were actual court cases. Starting with the people who only had to pay fines, she had a stack of citations 8-10 inches high and called out a person's name for each one. My heart sank when she didn't call my name! My name was in the next group of hardened criminals. There was even an official manila folder for my case, which made me feel even more like an outlaw! We were sent out to wait in line to speak to a clerk and tell her how we were going to plead. So, I waited my turn, told her that I pled "guilty", paid my fine, and that was it. I never had to officially face the judge. I tried to plead nolo contendere (no contest), but that was not an option because of how fast I had been going. I'm sure you're wondering by now: the grand total (for speeding and expired registration) was $325. Yikes!

I had been so angry with myself for getting a ticket when I was not even in a hurry. But then I think of all the other times I WAS running late and deliberately broke the speed limit and just didn't get caught. When I look at it that way, I sure got off easy! The law is working, though; my speeding days are over. I drive like a grandma these days and watch my speed carefully. I am also more aware of road signs. I used to zone out and not pay much attention.

This all reminds me of a story I read in Guideposts about a woman who was wrongly jailed for shoplifting. She had bought a garment at Store A, then in a dressing room of a Store B she tried it on again to compare it to an item from Store B. Someone watching the security cameras (creepy thought!) saw her put the first garment into her shopping bag and mistakenly thought she was stealing something from Store B. She was handcuffed and hauled off to jail. As she sat there feeling sorry for herself, she got to thinking about little things she'd pilfered before. I don't remember the specifics, but I recall one item being a spoon from a restaurant, so they were pretty small things. Then she thought about how in God's eyes, stealing is sin, no matter what the cost of the item. Looking at it this way, by the time she had spent an hour in jail and was cleared and sent home, she felt that even though she hadn't done anything wrong, in a different way she was paying for past sins. That's kind of how I felt when I had to pay the speeding ticket. (Although, to truly pay for my past sins, I should have paid a LOT more!)

Speaking of sins, I have to share something my oldest said. This happened many months ago, but it still makes me smile. My dear hubby (who I have yet to assign a blog nickname; I'll get back to you on that!) was having a nightly Bible study with the kids. The topic was sin, and Pete commented, "Grownups never sin." Hubby corrected him, saying, "Oh, but grownups DO sin. Sometimes they get angry, and they yell, and -" At that point Drama Queen interrupted, saying, "Mommy sins a lot!" Sigh. Gotta work on that one. (Really, I'm getting a lot better!)


Carla said...

What a story. I especially love the last one.

Dana said...

Out of the mouths of babes....