speed limits are…limits, not minimums. i would say that i drive below the speed limit about 95% of the time.
i leave 2-3 car lengths between me and the car in front of me…on city streets. i keep 5-7 car lengths behind on the highway…even in slowed-to-a-crawl work traffic.
i make it my goal to never smash on my brakes. i always glide slowly to a stop. we haven’t had to do brake jobs on either of our cars for over five years. i never floor the accelerator to take off fast. it wastes gas. (do i have to tell you i’m cheap, too?)
i anticipate somebody running a red light…and quickly glance both ways…every time i go through an intersection.
i have only had one speeding ticket in my life…when i was 23 years old. i was going five miles over the speed limit on a california highway.
i have been in one traffic accident in my life…when i was 22 years old. somebody ran a red light and hit me.
that’s the back story.
today i got really annoyed by a driver who wasn’t paying attention. he was talking on his cell phone, weaving in and out of his lane, nearly hitting cars on either side of him. i found myself muttering, “idiot…”, in a rather smug, condescending private conversation in my head.
here’s the reality: even with the speed i normally drive, i still break the speed limit every now and then. i’m just careful (or lucky) and don’t get caught. in the past ten years, i have had a handful of near-misses while i’ve talked on my cell phone. i have had a few occasions when i’ve stopped just in the nick of time before plowing into back bumper of an unsuspecting driver in front of me. i’ve had moments when my day dreaming ended just before an accident was about to happen. i know you know what i’m talking about.
truth is, even though i’m a safe, careful, law-abiding, and ultra-alert and overly cautious driver almost all of the time… there is still a tiny percentage of me that can drive thoughtlessly and just as careless as the person i was annoyed with today.
jesus has something to say about me:
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5
hypocrisy and spiritual superiority can creep in when we least expect it.
and it’s ugly and harmful every time.