the 20 mph sermon

I don’t know how it happens; the old, sporty-styled blue car must pull out from a side street up ahead and wind up in front of me. This is the second time I have been behind this particular car all the way to town. We’re on a 35 mph arterial, the direct route that goes from our part of the rural county area to town.

The driver of the blue car turns his head and I catch a glimpse of his profile. His apparent age makes it entirely possible that he was a peer of the men, if not one himself, who helped us secure the Allied foothold at Normandy. Suspended from his rear-view mirror is a handicapped-driver tag. He’s going about 25; I have to go 20 to keep from tailgating him. Occasionally he swerves into the oncoming lane, but he corrects.

He’s still my stalwart leader on the 30 mph road that is a business district along US 12. He’s steady at 20. I begin wondering whether he could have been at Waterloo. There’s no passing lane for the entire 6-1/2-mile trip.

By the time I’m thinking Waterloo and auto-focused on my speedometer, resentment has triumphed. But this time—and such times are admittedly too rare—something else takes over. Impatience is the offspring of self-worship. My pastor said so yesterday, in a remarkable sermon on Ecclesiastes 7.

The man in the blue car is suddenly the incredibly dear older fellow under my protection. He gets to drive as cautiously as he needs to. I’d way rather share the road with him than a rager speeding, passing dangerously, and honking his horn.

As for the minutes I might have “saved” had I been able to drive the speed limit, I am about positive that I would have squandered them elsewhere without benefit of a single edifying thought.

Better is the end of a thing than its beginning,
And the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.—Eccl. 7:8 (ESV)

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “the 20 mph sermon

  1. mo

    I like how you think Lauren.

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  2. I imagine Lauren that you might have thought when writing this unfortunate episode that there would be at least one person who would definitely make a comment…that member of the great unpublished (and sometimes unwashed when gardening up a storm) who resides just a tad more than the 6.5 miles to your Town.
    Sports Cars, Elderly Drivers and the Allied invasion of Normandy is always going to show up on my Radar. Less likely is Ecclesiastes 7.You might inadvertently have persuaded me to check out that book of the Bible!. like the quotation very much ; it appeals to my sense of all that is (or could be )right with the World!.
    Since my very own brother who addresses two of your concerns ;that of being elderly and driving a sports car, is the scariest driver I have sat with recently. In England, that once domain of Normans with their funny helmets and strange language, I am assured that it is quite alright to approach a roundabout at 60mph ,since the quicker you get there the easier it is to beat your competition into submission.A kind of survival of the fittest you might deduce..
    Your Normandy veteran experience should be a useful reminder in the future ,of your Pastor’s words. I wish I had heard that Sermon. Perhaps you should relate your thoughts to him.;t would no doubt inspire him to greater proclamations and you to greater heights.How is your lean mean machine by the way Lauren?

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    • Grünhilde would probably love to flex her precision musculature on an autobahn somewhere, but she is patient with the pace of life here.

      And look at the near century of events that converged, perhaps all directed toward you coming round to read your Bible!

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