Sunday, February 6, 2011

This is the Stuff

I made it 12 years of driving without getting a ticket. 

Until last month. 

Matt and I were driving (well, I was the one putting the pedal to the metal) to Eastern Washington to visit my family for Christmas (yes, Christmas in January).  We had just reached the point in the drive, about 2 hours in, where it gets really boring; really flat, and straight, and brown, and boring.  I was driving, talking and completely not paying attention...until I saw the Sheriff's lovely vehicle lingering just beyond an overpass.  I was going 73 in a 60, and he gave me a ticket.  My very first ticket.  He was nice and stated on the ticket I was only going 70 in a 60 to save me a really huge fine.  The speeding ticket really was a long time coming though.  I've made that drive more times than I can count, and it's very difficult for me to go the speed limit; especially on that drive. 

"Well, I've learned my lesson" I said to Matt.  He worries about my need for speed (along with my parents, I once made the 3 hour drive to their house in 2 hours) and I know I should slow down.  The law is there for a reason; to protect me.  Just like my parents set rules when I was young.  They didn't want to take the fun out of my childhood or slow me down, but they wanted to keep me safe. 

Unfortunately, I didn't quite learn my lesson that January day. 

Last Wednesday, as I was driving to my weekly volunteer session at Vision House, a new song by Francesca Battistelli started playing on the radio.  I had only heard the end of the song, so I was excited to hear it all, and cranked it up.  I had decided last minute to take some leftover Lemon Ricotta Cookies and was already running a few minutes behind.  Was I speeding?  Perhaps.  I was just going with the flow of traffic on Maple Valley Highway while Francesca serenaded me with these lyrics:
45 in a 35
Sirens and fines while I'm running behind

It was actually 61 in a 50.  As I was pulling over to the shoulder I said a quick prayer. 

"Seriously God?!  I know I said I learned my lesson, and I'm sorry I didn't honor that.  I can't get another ticket.  God, I need your favor right now."  And then I thought, "Matt's going to be so mad if I get another ticket."   The officer kindly told me to slow down, and didn't even ask to see my registration.  He declined my offer of a cookie and we parted ways.  I couldn't help but laugh.  I really do think God has a sense of humor, I believe God has perfect timing, and I do not believe in coincidences.  I think God uses the small stuff in life, in everyday situations, to teach us large lessons.  Lessons such as following the rules that have been set forth in effort to keep me safe.  I will continue to keep my eyes and ears open for the big, as well as the small, lessons in life.

"And we know that in all things God works for the
good of those who love him, who have been
called according to his purpose."
- Romans 8:28 -

My next car will have cruise control.  That will also help.

I challenge you to be open and aware to the "stuff" in your life that God can use for good.  Be confident that whatever is making you feel frustrated or impatient can serve a purpose to create a better you , and your positive reactions to "stuff" in life can be a great encouragement for those around you.  Here are the lyrics and the song.

This is the Stuff
By:  Francesca Battistelli

I lost my keys in the great unknown
And call me please 'Cuz I can't find my phone

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

45 in a 35
Sirens and fines while I'm running behind
Whoa

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

So break me of impatience
Conquer my frustrations
I've got a new appreciation
It's not the end of the world
Oh Oh Oh

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff
Someone save me
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
And I've gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

Oh Oh Oh Oh
This is the stuff You use










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