Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Path Less Traveled.

Two weeks ago on my way home from work I got pulled over by a cop. It wasn't the first time I'd been pulled over, but it was my first legit, illegal, come-on-girl, traffic violation.

I was getting off the freeway at a ridiculously busy exit in town and I was stuck in the backlog of cars. The thing that made me different than them -and by different I mean, more important- was my right blinker tick, tick, ticking. I was taking the lane less populated -or for the sake of the metaphor to come, the path less traveled. And I felt like I shouldn't have to wait in the line of left-turners anymore. So, I did what every less-traveled-path-goer would do: I ensured my right blinker stayed ticking, I whipped into the shoulder, and I bypassed all those silly sheep headed left.

That's when he struck. With a whoop-whoop of his siren and some flashy lights, he signaled me (further) to the shoulder with his hand. Oh dear. As he approached the car, I wasn't sure what to expect -I was in the wrong, you know.

"I'll let you go free if you can tell me what about that turn was legal ma'am." 
Nothing was, quite obviously. 
"What's so important that you shouldn't have to wait in line like everyone else?"
Nothing was. Nothing is.

And, with that, he let me go ticket-free, but lesson-heavy. In asking about my self-important attitude, he made a larger statement about my life. You see, I'm relatively good at taking the path less traveled and when I do I feel like it should be fast, I shouldn't have to wait, I'm all important and good. When I'm going the narrow way people should appreciate, should dote on me, should, at the very least, let me know they see how noble I am for doing so. Oh how wrong this happens to be.

Taking the path less traveled, choosing the road less populated, it doesn't make me privileged or grander or smarter or nobler. It doesn't entitle me to be there first, to pass everyone else, to have it easy and free of rules. It doesn't mean I get to fly by the masses with an attitude and dust cloud. It means I've made a choice, just like everyone else has, and that choice requires me to follow rules, to think about more than just myself, to do what is right. Because nothing entitles me to such importance, to being above the law -or above the consideration of others-, to skipping the hard parts.

Two weeks ago I got pulled over by a cop. And God spoke to me. He said, Amber, what's so important for you to rush the process, to skip the wait, to ignore the rules? And in my heart I realized, nothing is. 

21 comments:

  1. I love how you teach us lessons through every ordinary and not so ordinary aspect of your life. This is such a great take away and absolutely so true!!

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  2. You are the only person who could get a life lesson this big out of being pulled over by a cop. :)

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  3. What a great lesson - I am the same way on the road...usually any short cuts I try to take will only get me to my destination 2 or 3 minutes faster...what's the point?!

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  4. this is a great lesson and a wise perspective. most people would have been pissed and maybe mouthed off to the cop but you decided to take a different path and actually saw what he was trying to say/do. kudos :)

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  5. girl, i would like to get in that head of yours so i could get all the lessons right away.

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  6. Wow. I love the lesson you learned from this. It's true. And that sounds like a pretty good cop. My only experience getting pulled over was....awful. And has left me scared of policemen till this day. I'm glad there are good ones.

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  7. Definitely a good life lesson to learn. I always get carried away both on the road and in life, thinking that wherever I have to be and where I'm going is more important that the people around me. But that's really not true at all. I'm no more important than they are!

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  8. A-freaking-men! One thing I've learned, we are so young, and every little season counts.

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  9. Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing this story!

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  10. This post might be my favorite of yours, yet. (Besides the one about Eve.) ;) I just about cried at your last 4 sentences because it is so true... For everyone. I'm especially "feeling it" because of some stuff that's happened the past two weeks. You are so right, Amber. To rush the process is unfair. I've been trying so hard to get ahead of God and His timing, and it is so, so bad for my heart.

    On the side...I love and miss you, friend. xoxo!

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  11. The way you turned a little life story into a moral lesson there was pretty fantastic I have to say!

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  12. You're the bomb.com.

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  13. Oh girl, obviously we are too far out of touch lately... Your soul is a beautiful one that honors Him in all things even though you're pushing His timing to move a little faster. Oh how I know that feeling boo. I owe you an email, a text, and some prayer. :)


    Loves to you.

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  14. EVERY. LITTLE. SEASON. Especially the one's that feel so freaking long.

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  15. Oh he let me off easy ESPECIALLY because there was no good reason to be driving like a self-important loon. And how bratty I really WANTED to be when he pulled me over! :)

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  16. Oh the road. Especially on my way home from work. Holy roller I'm a madwoman!


    This weekend the whole you're not the queen of important things thought raced through my mind while I oh-so-impatiently waited at the grocery store for the ridiculous line in front of me to shrink so I could check out.

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  17. Mouthing off was what I wanted to do at first, then I realized I really had no excuse other than I think I'm pretty damn important even though the rest of the world doesn't... And how do you say that with a bratty attitude! :)

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  18. What IS the point?!? Because usually then I'm there early and annoyed that I'm waiting! :D

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  19. You're invited in, every. single. time.

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  20. Yes ma'am! And when you look back, you'll think "Man, what was I so in a hurry for?"

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