Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Grace

On Sunday nights, I come home from the church at about 7:00. Typically, traffic is low and I veer from the main route and take a series of semi-rural roads just to see fields and trees and horses and to pretend that I'm not surrounded by a couple million people.

This Sunday, it was about 65 degrees, the wind was light and there was no one in front of me once I broke from traffic. I got a little carried away and it took me back. I cranked down the window, turned up the heater and cut off the radio. You quickly remember that you have more ambition than actual courage on roads you can't see, but it was a real pleasure. One I miss.

I shot from the illussion of a country road back to the multi-lane reality that mocks the yet undeveloped land and began to throttle back. One mile from home, and not far from reasonable, I met an officer who showed great enthusiasm in quickly turning around and presenting me the single option of stopping my car.

I was a good citizen. I set the brake, shut down the engine, placed my hands at 10 and 2 and awaited her instructions. As she explained why I was being stopped, I sincerely asked how fast I had been traveling. I moaned a sign of regret and left it at that. It wasn't so bad, but I made no whine or complaint. I knew exactly what I deserved.

Then there was grace. "Mr. Pruitt, a verbal warning tonight, but you need to slow it down." Be careful not to mistake it for mercy--this was a gift, not merely an escape. As I pulled away, I understood God very clearly. "Steven, you've had your fun, now stop. I'm giving you this warning."

It makes me think--I wonder what other warnings He gives me that I fail to notice? I wonder if I ever get his mercy confused with the grace of a warning? It's one thing to worship a God who shows mercy. It is an entirely different thing to worship the God who gives grace--who seeks to prevent the very action that might test his mercy. Thoughts?


Lisa's 2 Things:
1-This site will let you see anything on the internet that is linking to your page.
2-This site will search through most blogs for anything you want to find (like yourself).

14 comments:

Wendy said...

I am not sure if it was grace or mercy, but I wonder if it had anything to do with those car seats in your car! Truthfully, I think that somehow grace and mercy are related. I am sure that we don't always see the warnings of His grace and mercy!

jonathan said...

Dude, that is one cleverly written piece that should be published. I linked it over on my blog.

sekondstory said...

I never thought of God's grace being a motivation to prevent God's mercy. They always have seemed so similiar in my mind. I know grace is getting what you don't deserve and mercy is not getting what you do deserve. Either way I am thankful for both. His mercy and grace covers me.

f1rststory said...

all things above being known and understood...I was wondering...did you cry for the officer, or did she think you were cute...?

01cent said...

Lisa told you about the 10 and 2 thing didn't she. She knows that routine well.

murph411 said...

Did you have your shirt off when you got stopped?

I am amazed that you were able to spiritualize getting out of a speeding ticket... I gotta go to seminary!

:)

deersnake said...

Grace and mercy are so hard to differentiate. I think God's mercy is part of His grace - and I'm not even sure that makes sense.

I do, however, feel validated in my confusion - the thesaurus has mercy and grace as synonyms of each other!

sekondstory said...

That was cheap, penny...very cheap!

Teilhet said...

Steve, I need your address- I got a Christmas card with your name all over it.
And Murphs, the same goes for you.

Wendy said...

Honey, should I be worried about this lady police officer?

f1rststory said...

ummm...maybe you should be worried about steve...hahaha

sekondstory said...

Steve, do you check your earthlink email? or are you just not emailing me back?

Van said...

Steve,

It's Van. I know we need to catch up, but first things first. I need y'all's mailing address. Drop me a line at vanbaird@alltel.net.

Van

Matt Mize said...

Hey Steve! I need your mailing address so I can give it to Mark! I'm going into the hospital for the retry of that failed surgery tomorrow at nine. So I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. You should come by the house if you come into town and get a chance.

-Matt Mize