We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

A Warrant for my Arrest

Would you believe me if I told you that I once received a warrant for my arrest?

When my daughter Jennifer was 19, my name was on her car registration. Because she did not pay a parking ticket a year prior, the penalty was incarceration–for the vehicle owners!

As I read the warrant letter, it suddenly dawned on me that my speaking engagement the next day could have a slight change in venue–I might be speaking in prison! Pondering what to do, I realized that Jennifer just needed to go to the courthouse and pay the fine–immediately!

“Jennifer,” I asked, “did you forget to pay a parking ticket?”

“No” was her response.

“Well, there’s a warrant for our arrest. Tomorrow they are going to come and take us both to jail unless you pay this fine.”

Handing her the paper she looked at it as if it was a joke and said, “Yeah, right.”

Back and forth we went, both convinced that the other was wrong. To make matters worse, Jen looked at me after I demanded that she admit wrong, and said, “Dad, read my lips!” And her mother was backing her!

Realizing that I was facing hostile enemy fire, it was time to retreat. But one thing was certain–I wasn’t going to jail! So I called the number on the warrant and asked if I could come by and pay the ticket.

“Ma’am, I’ll bring a check right down,” I quickly offered. “How much do I owe?”

She said, “Can you give me the violation number again?” I did, and she said, “Sir, there has been some kind of mistake. This ticket was paid for.”

“That’s impossible! Check it again please.”

As I walked back in the house on my knees, I learned a valuable lesson that day. I realized that the real me is who I am when facing personal loss, failure, or shame. Once again I came face-to-face with the truth that, “Only by pride comes contention, but with the well advised is wisdom” (Proverbs 13:10).

Published in: on September 14, 2010 at 2:17 am  Leave a Comment  

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