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Speeding Ticket


Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down: 
73 in a 55 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 will tweak 
his backside with a mirror. 

The cop was stepping out of his car, the big pad in hand. Bob? 
Bob from Church? Jack sunk farther into his seat. This was worse 
than the coming ticket. A Christian 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 a man he saw every Sunday, a man 
he'd never seen in uniform. "Hi, 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, I guess." 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 toed at a pebble on the pavement. 
"Diane said something about roast beef and potatoes tonight. Know what 
I mean?" "I know what you mean. I also know that you have a reputation 
in our precinct." Ouch. 

This was not going in the right direction. Time to change tactics. "What'd 
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 the car." Flustered, Jack hunched himself through the still-open 
door. Slamming it shut, he stared at the dash board. He was in no rush 
to open the window. The minutes ticked by. Bob scribbled away on the pad. 
Why 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 could not quite keep the sneer out 
of his voice. Bob returned to his police car without a word. Jack watched 
his retreat in the mirror. Jack unfolded the sheet 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: 

"Dear Jack, Once upon a time I had a daughter. She was six when killed by 
a car. You guessed it-a speeding driver. 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, and I'm going to 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. My son is all I have left. Bob" 

Jack turned around in time to see Bob's car pull away and head down the road. 
Jack watched until it disappeared. A full 15 minutes later, he, too, pulled 
away and drove slowly home, praying for forgiveness and hugging a surprised 
wife and kids when he arrived. Life is precious. Handle with care. 

This is an important message: Drive safely and carefully. Remember, cars are 
not the only thing recalled by their maker. 


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