Well, I had to put my money where my mouth is this past Friday night. Rachel and I went to the final home football game of the season. We parked a block or two from the stadium and walked in. When we came back out, I found this little yellow envelope under my windshield wiper.
At age 52, I received my very first parking ticket. (No, I don't consider this a desirable rite of passage.) I was ticketed for parking on the curb. "What?!?" I thought. "How could I have parked on the curb and not known it?"
I walked over to the passenger side to have a look. Sure enough, my back tire was about one inch onto the curb...which was only about one inch higher than the street at that point. I hadn't even felt the tire bump up onto the curb when I parked.
I must admit that my first thought was that this was a pretty silly ticket for a police officer to give. Much like the student who tries to blame their detention troubles on anyone other than himself or herself, I tried to do some mental gymnastics that would prove me right and the police officer unreasonable.
That stage lasted all of about fifteen seconds. You see, I really do believe what I wrote in the post last week. If I really do believe it, I must live by it. Whether the curb was one inch high or six inches high doesn't matter. It makes no difference whether my tire was a half inch onto the cub or five inches onto the cub.
I was, in fact, wrong. I deserved the ticket. So I will drop that little yellow envelope in a ticket box somewhere on Main Street tomorrow, and I will be very thankful to be out only $10. I will also be sure to pay it within 120 hours. Otherwise, another consequence - a higher fine - will be applied.
I DON'T want to deserve that one.
And I will most certainly be more aware of curbs, especially in those areas where curbs are low. Once again, discipline achieves its intended goal.
At the time, discipline isn’t much fun.
It always feels like it’s going against the grain.
Later, of course, it pays off handsomely,
for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature
in their relationship with God.
(Hebrews 12:11 The Message)