Speed Racer Theology

July 1st, 2008

Focus Text: Psalm 1: 4-6 (NKJV)

4 The ungodly are not so,
         But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
         Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.     
 6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
         But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

 

Stop and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

Speeding tickets are just a part of life; more so for some of us than others.  We don’t like to think about it and we certainly don’t like the feeling we have when the blue lights start flashing in our rear view mirror.  When I pass some poor soul pulled over on the shoulder of the interstate with an officer writing on his clipboard, I truly feel sympathy for them.

You see, when I was younger and much, much less mature than I am now (again with the eye-rolling), I received a few speeding tickets.  Okay, so maybe more than a few.  Put it this way, if traffic schools offered degrees, I’d have my Master’s by now.  Mainly during my college years, I accrued quite the few citations in lovely little towns all across this state.  

Before I continue, it should be noted that I am now a fully reformed CDL driver with a clean history and that riding with me is no more hazardous than riding with any other bus driver.  Whew, witness intact!

As a young man, it never failed that the moment I heard the siren and realized that I was getting pulled over I became emotionally enraged.  No matter how fast they clocked me or how guilty I actually was, I always felt discriminated against and that the whole process was unfair.  “75 miles per hour in a 50– that’s not that fast!”  And the part I hated the most was the moment the cop made me sign the ticket.  The huge bold letters by the signature line read “Not an admission of guilt.”  

“What?  Not an admission of guilt?  Then I suppose I’m just signing this to admit that I got pulled over– thanks for the news flash, Smokey!”

The next part of the ticketing process was the court date.  Oh man, this was where it could definitely get comical.  We all filed into the back of a real courtroom- people of all sizes, shapes, colors, and demographics.  I say “real” because at first I honestly thought that traffic court was no big deal and we should be able to just sign off on something and go take the driving classes.  However, I was wrong.  The courtroom was a big, stuffy room overlaid with polished wood and filled with uncomfortable wooden benches.  There were real baliffs, real court reporters, and most notably- a real judge.  We all had to rise when he entered and he wore a black robe and all, just like on TV.  And for what?  Traffic tickets?

Scriptures like this one are sometimes hard for people to stomach because they use seemingly judgmental words like “ungodly,” “judgment,” and “sinners.”  We don’t like to read these– let’s just skip on to “For God so loved the world . . . ” or “I can do all things through Christ . . . ”  In light of everything else we’ve read in this chapter about God’s Word, being planted, and seasons, it’s important that we don’t skip over the realities of our impending court date.  Like speeding tickets, our own disobedience is a reality of life.

To call a person ungodly isn’t easy, but to call an action ungodly is a cinch.  Instead of skipping over passages like these, embrace the truth that there is a right and a wrong– a good and bad way of living life.  And just like old lead-footed John, a lifestyle lived away from God’s plan will eventually get us all pulled over.  All sin isn’t the same; but all sin does send you to the same courtroom to stand before the same Judge.  Even a “minor” offense makes you guilty of breaking the law- thus you need to prepare your plea.

Wow, so that’s pretty encouraging, huh?  Stay with me.  I conclude this thought on speeding and judgment with the final details of my own story.  The last judge I faced had every right to make me pay the ticket and to put the incident on my record (thus raising my insurance premiums and jeopardizing my marriage . . . well, not really.)  In the moment that my name was called, I simply asked for mercy.  Huh, what a novel concept!  And you know what, he pardoned my crime and allowed me to attend traffic school.

The best thing about traffic school is that the offense is completely removed from your record– that’s right, it’s as if you never sped in the first place.  That’s the way it is with God, too.  His mercy allows you the chance to continue living and learning just as if you never sinned.  You’re not innocent by action; you’re innocent by declaration.  

So, the way of the ungodly will most certainly end in destruction, but anyone (including ungodly drivers like myself) has the opportunity to receive mercy and the keys to another chance out on the road of grace.  

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~ by johndriver on July 1, 2008.

6 Responses to “Speed Racer Theology”

  1. Just a thought on the Speedracer Theology; it’s important to remember that even though God forgives and wipes your record clean, there are often still consequences to pay for our actions. The judge may have wiped the traffic record clean, but I’m sure there were still expenses (i.e. court costs, the ticket fine, day off from work, etc). God does forgive us and sees us in right standing with Him when we confess our sins and ask forgiveness. But the pain of sin and the wake that it leaves behind can still remain. Sometimes that’s a good thing because it can be a deterrent to committing sin just as jail time is a deterrent to committing a crime. The longer I live, the more I love God’s grace because I see how much I need it. But I’ve also figured out that I have had to pay many a physical and emotional price for my actions that God has forgiven me of.

  2. this just makes me realize that even though God shows us mercy, it doesnt mean what we do wrong is ok. that is the great thing about God though is that we can have another chance and that we dont have to fail at anything. even though this scripture is not as uplifting at others, ive learned you must actually study the word. these blogs have helped me because i now TRY to understand it myself before thinking i have no clue what its talking about. now, i need to work on the little things in life that i never realize God watches too.

  3. This reminds me of a story about my mom, she was going to work one morning and decided to drive in the lane for only carpoolers (you know the one with a painted on the road). Well, sure enough she got pulled over because she was the only person in the vehicle. She couldn’t believe it! I remember her saying ” I didn’t think they actually pulled people over for such a little thing”. I think sometimes we think that a sin is so little that it doesn’t matter and that God wouldn’t really judge us for it. I’m thankful that He will forgive me when I mess up, but I should still strive to live a righteous lifestyle.

  4. Well its safe to say that we’re all doomed. lol jk
    if you were to call someone “ungodly” its saying a lot. its like saying “your basically demonic and your going to hell”
    when you can easily say “what your doing is ungodly” well its just a sin. who cares right?
    The truth is a sins a sin.
    Like a speed ticket is one thing but when you get a ticket when your tag has expired… well its not a big deal.(bc you can show youve updated it in court).
    Just like my first and only ticket (knock on wood), my ticket got waved. I was releaved to hear the judge say that, and i was very greatful.
    Im releaved i have a God like that…. except he’ll always wave off my faults and failures if i just come clean and ask.

  5. I’m so thankful that God shows mercy on me! I really liked how you distinguished the differences between an “ungodly person” and an “ungodly action.” It is tough to swallow the idea of doing ungodly things , and that you are a sinner. The truth is, we all are. I can’t be stubborn and think , “oh! I can commit this one sin because God will show mercy on me, he always does!!” …. that is not how it works. I don’t want to live my life like that. I want to try my best and stay away from ungodly actions, but when I do fall into them I would like to be forgiven and move on from that. No more stubborn me! He knows your heart and when you are truly asking for his mercy. He just wants us to walk with him, and admit when we have done wrong…and follow him from there.

  6. I really like the part whe you said we aren’t innocent by action but by declaration. It just explains so much. Cause every sin I ever did, i still did, it’s just that God has basically said I haven’t so I am clean in his eyes, & that’s all I should care about.

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