Thursday, December 10, 2009


I came across a traffic ticket that someone else received. It offered the chance to simply cover it with a fine and a signature and checking that you either agree with the charges as filed or to mark "no contest" (or the latin equivalent thereof.)

I think this person should pay the fine, check one of the boxes and sign on the dotted line. It's over, it's settled, it's done. It's not a matter of fight it because it's wrong, it's a just charge. This person doesn't think so. No one else, when confronted with the facts of the incident see things as this person sees them, but that's how it goes.

I look at the situation and see bad consequences if this person doesn't pay up and sign it away. In fact, I was tempted to pay it for this person, check one of the boxes for them...but there's the sticky part. The signature. I can't do this for them.

It occurs to me that we all come to this place in life. We've done something wrong. By our very nature, we are sinful and separated from God. We have the charge from the governing authority, God, and God himself has paid the fine. There is only one box to check--Guilty as charged. But there is the signature line. Ah the signature line.

I cannot do that for another. All I can do is to urge them to sign away and take the payment that has already been made. Otherwise the charge stands. Sign away and accept the payment on your behalf and it's wiped away. Done. Gone.

Some of us want to protest that we're not guilty. Ahh, it's on tape. So we argue anything and everything to keep from admitting our guilt. We don't want our name on that line.

Some people think they would rather sign for their guilt and pay their own fine, but the fine is more than they have ever or will ever own. But they're gonna keep trying, perhaps doing community service, to try to wipe away the fine, or to wipe away their own guilt. It doesn't work. All they need to do is to sign.

I'm grateful that God himself was willing to pay the fine for me. Can you imagine the courtroom where the judge hands down the sentence and then pays it himself?

Amazing. Wonderful.

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