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Life in the right lane.

At least once a month I take a five hour journey to the panhandle of Texas to serve one of my favorite clients. 

On one of my recent trips out west, I was, let’s just say, flying without a pilot’s license, down the flat open tumbleweed interstate. I was getting it and getting it good. 

About the time I hit cruising altitude a sheriff’s cruiser hit the party lights. I was busted and busted bad. I was done. Toasted. Put a fork in me and pull me off the grill. I was caught red handed pushing the red line. 

By the time I saw the pretty lights, I had backed off the throttle to 91 m.p.h. I nearly choked when I glanced at the speedometer. I would be lucky if I wasn’t thrown in jail. I was at least 16 m.p.h. over the speed limit.

To make matters worse, I was an Okie in Texas country flying by with a vanity license plate that read: LEAD. And as luck would have it, my insurance card had expired just two days prior.

The officer was kind enough but she was asking me a full line of questions that I know was helping her decide if I was crazy or just out of my mind.

She took my credentials and made her way back to her disco lights and stealth modified, high-performance SUV. 

It felt like she was there for three days or more. I figured she needed the extra time to call in the calvary, tow truck and reinforcements.

Peeking in my rearview mirror I did my best to determine her demeanor. She was a great poker player. She gave no hints as she made her way back to my vehicle with one hand on her holstered pistol and the other carrying a ticket pad flapping with paperwork in the wind. I braced myself for the news as my copilot breathed a prayer of redemption. 

I greeted her kindly with a forced grin and nervous expression as the words that came from her mouth nearly made this grown man cry. She was giving me a warning! Prayers answered! A miracle!  A warning on I-27!

I was guilty as guilty could be. I was prime pickings. A sitting duck ready for the rotisserie. She had extended mercy and grace to a temporarily insane motorist pretending to be a recovering fighter pilot.

The look on my face must have made her smile because she cracked a big grin and encouraged me to slow down and be safe. Whew!

The experience reminded me of the day of my salvation. The day when I got things right with the big man upstairs. I had deserved the worst and, thank you Jesus, I was set free, forgiven and extended a bundle pack of mercy and grace. So undeserved!

How many warnings had I been given in life? How many had I heeded? How much mercy and grace had I been extended? It was such a sweet reminder to be kind, have mercy and give grace to those in our lives that miss the mark, stub their toe, don’t deserve to be forgiven and suffer from a moment of regret they wish they could take back.

Thank you Officer Brown for saving me some money and giving me a break when you didn’t have to. Mercy and grace suit me just fine. 

I’m grateful and I have turned in my pilot license, cleaned my undershorts and have now settled in for life in the right lane.


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