Here's this week's newsletter article:
"Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct." --Thomas Carlyle
Several years ago, I got a speeding ticket. Frankly, I deserved it; I was not paying enough attention to what I was doing, and I was going too fast on an empty stretch of 70 near LaGrange. Ben and I had just had breakfast at Ken's Grill (best grits I think I've ever had, and also the best bbq) and we were headed to Raleigh on our day off to go do something fun. We were talking and having a good time, and I was distracted, and when the trooper pulled me over, I had no excuse...he wrote me a ticket.
Now, this happens to lots of people at some point in their lives. We do something wrong and we are responsible for the consequences. I never argued with that officer about that ticket. It was a fair outcome for what I had done. And having the ticket is not what embarrasses me about this little story...it's that I had a "clergy" sticker in the back window. Yep, that trooper and anyone else who cared to look would have known that someone who professes to be a Christian and a minister had transgressed the law.
In our culture, I'm not sure that means much anymore. I think sometimes we don't hold one another to high enough standards, and don't take seriously the consequences of what we do. We're much more likely (as a gross generalization) to say, "I don't deserve this," than we are to simply pay the price for our error. I believe Jesus would call us to something more. In my case, I've tried to be more careful about my speed (although it's hard, there have been no more tickets), and I paid my fine. Of course, I've also taken the sticker off my car!