Reckless Driving and Discipline

This whole situation with my reckless driving ticket has lead me to think a lot about money, discipline and hardship. I was late doing this driving improvement course after my  car accident. The police officer charged me with reckless driving because I lost control of the car, and the judge was super lenient with me, the grace of God really. He said if I completed driving school and got everything in by the deadline it would be knocked down to a lesser offense or removed. I did the course online, which took much longer than a day at the driving school location, then the certificate was sent out to me but is still in the mail. Today is the day it was due to the courts and I don’t have the certificate. I am now going to face paying a fine, higher insurance premium and having this on my record for 11 years. This sucks. I think I was freaked out because it is considered a criminal offense, a class 1 misdemeanor. I was afraid it would affect my ability to get jobs, car insurance, another car, etc. I also was just really upset that 1. I have to pay a lot of money, which I don’t know the amount yet, and 2. I no longer have a perfect driving record.

I see God helping me to rely on him, I was so confident about this after the judge gave me driving school and lazy in getting started. I need to be more disciplined when it comes to doing things in a timely manner, as well as keeping my heart in check in connection to money. So since I will be fined, I will have to sacrifice other things my money goes to, as well as think about other ways I have been holding on to my money. Since I have not been disciplined in my money, God is using this to help me in multiple areas. I don’t have anyone to blame but my self. If a miracle happens that’s all God, but I didn’t take his gift of “time to clear my name” seriously.

Proverbs 10:17 came up on my bible app “Verse of the day” and it says:

The road to life is a disciplined life; ignore the correction and you’re lost for good. (MSG)

Yes this isn’t a mushy-gushy, happy, feel-good scripture, but its true. And if I follow God I love the truth because it is what saves my life. I want to take heed to the correction. In this case the correction the first time came in the form of grace in the court room with driving school, which I didn’t follow through in time. Now I am reaping consequences of MY actions. Not some punishment God gave, if he sees fit to extend mercy and grace again, if that is what will help me learn how to be disciplined then that is what he will do, but God will do what ever it takes for me to learn lessons in life so I can be with him later in eternity. A reckless driving ticket is nothing in comparison to being separated from God for an eternity. I’d rather take the “L” for now so I can win big later, in the context that I didn’t take all this seriously before and God is working to help me to grow and be with him forever.

I’m still holding out hope in this situation though. The court needs my certificate by 4p today, if the US postal service, which comes around 3, can bring it then I will be ok. I want to have faith in God with whatever happens. When I spoke with the driving school that issued the certificate they said it wouldn’t come until the 17th which is 8 days away, but maybe it comes today, who knows.

I was reading an article last night in regards to a project I’m working on, it dealt with sports fans and their emotional connections to winning and loosing. It was said by a veteran fan that a true fan was seen as loyal when they could be faithful to the group and be consistently joyful about the group through thick and thin, when the team delivered or failed. It made for a greater victory when your team actually won, when you’ve been through the pain of loosing and failure. I see this as a similar analogy to me and God. So do I stay loyal to God only when things are gong well, in my favor and I’m “winning” at life? Or am I a loyal follower, taking the good with the bad and staying loyal. According to the sports teams’ fans, the loyal ones were there for authentic reasons. Newer or flaky fans were usually around only when the team was winning, to boost themselves up. The difference in my case with God is that I’m not a bystander wanting God to “win” for me and my dopamine levels to rise with his victories. I am actually a participant in the “game” if you will. I am making decisions, and when I make poor ones God is still there, loyal to me. So am I a flaky fan of God that only sticks around when he is blessing me, when there is “winnings” to be had? NO! I want to claim that I am a loyal follower, just like anyone would claim if they are following anything, but with God my loyalty is evident in my reactions to things that come at me or that I enable in life. I could grow bitter as a “loser” and blame God and be done with him, or I could stay loyal through rough times, I mean considering I’m the one that blew it for the team, if the team is me and God. Anyway, the plan is to stick in there with God, because now comes the lessons that follow failure and the rewards of when I do learn and “win” with God later will be so much sweeter. Maybe I do need to feel the suffering of my mistakes to see the joy that comes when its overcome with God. Victory will not be life going perfectly, but my lessons learned and getting closer to God, even with more lessons come. I can stand with God victoriously before there is ever a sign of victory. God is boosting my faith. Amen.

Additional thoughts:
In the end I learn about how God has to be perfect for me, how I am not to look to a “perfect” driving record to put my trust in, although its helpful and I messed it up, its nothing God can’t work with. I am not perfect, nor will I ever be. I need to get ok with that so I can trust in God’s perfection, and need him, not myself to get myself through things. I also need to look at my heart with giving, I was actually challenged by a lesson we had at church about our hearts and money. I know that I am more reluctant to even pay my roommate for bills outside of rent or anything additional to tithes at church because I am afraid I won’t have the money for things I want to do. I think by learning self-discipline in this area (which I prayed to learn in general this year) I will be able to get past my insecurity of “what if I don’t have enough for . .” because there will be more faith in God and less in money, but also a better grasp on a budget.

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