Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down: 73 in a 55 zone. When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled over, but only partially off the road. Let the cop worry about the potential traffic hazard. Maybe some other car will tweak his backside with a mirror.

The cop that stepped out of his car was Bob, Bob from Church? Jack sunk farther into his seat. This was worse than the coming ticket, a Christian cop catching a guy from his own church. Jumping out of the car, he approached a man he saw every Sunday, a man he'd never seen in uniform.

Jack - "Hi, Bob."

Bob - "Hello, Jack." No smile.

Jack - "Guess you caught me red-handed in a rush to see my wife and kids."

Bob - "Yeah, I guess."

Jack - "I've seen some long days at the office lately. I'm afraid I was going a little fast.

Diane said something about roast beef and potatoes tonight. Know what I mean?" Jack toed at a pebble on the pavement.

Bob - "I know what you mean. I also know that you have a reputation for speeding."

Ouch. This was not going in the right direction. Time to change tactics.

Jack - "What'd you clock me at?"

Bob - "Seventy. Would you sit back in your car please?"

Jack - "Now wait a minute here, Bob. I checked as soon as I saw you. I was barely nudging 65."

Bob - "Please, Jack, in the car."

Flustered, Jack hunched himself through the still-open door. Slamming it shut, he stared at the dashboard. The minutes ticked by. Why hadn't he asked for a driver's license? A tap on the door jerked his head to the left. There was Bob, with a folded paper in hand.

Jack rolled down the window a mere two inches, just enough room for Bob to pass him the slip.

"Thanks a lot!" Jack could not quite keep the sneer out of his voice.

Bob returned to his police car without a word as Jack unfolded the sheet of paper.  How much was this one going to cost?  Jack began to read: "Dear Jack, once I had a daughter. She was six when killed by a car. You guessed it - a speeding driver.  A fine and three months in jail, and the man was free. Free to hug his daughters (all three of them). I only had one, and I'm going to have to wait until Heaven before I can ever hug her again. A thousand times I've tried to forgive that man for killing my daughter. A thousand times I thought I had. Maybe I did, but I need to do it again. Even now. Pray for me.  And be careful.  My son is all I have left. Bob"

Jack turned around in time to see Bob's car pull away and head down the road. Jack watched until it disappeared. A full 15 minutes later, he too, pulled away and drove slowly home, praying for forgiveness and hugging a surprised wife and kids when he arrived.

Life is precious so handle it with care.  Drive safely and carefully.


Mike, thank you for this message. Just in the last two days, I drove 1250 miles, my Christmas present to myself. I picked up my mother-in-law for a visit to see her grandchildren. I drove to her house, spent the night and we left early the next morning to complete the trip over the weekend.

All that time, I did not speed. I did not go the automatic 5 or 10 miles over the speed limit that would keep me from getting a ticket. I just planned enough time to do the speed limit, and give myself adequate breaks. I knew this long trip would be taxing, so I took some funny tapes of comedians and all my favorite Christmas music to play.

There were a lot of the speeding drivers on the road. It was obvious to me, not everyone enjoyed the scenery, weather, and all God has given us. They were not wearing the content smile that I was. They must have felt pressure that I did not feel. Not only from trying to get around that next truck, but trying not to get caught. They were not thinking of the deer that could jump all frightened in front of them and end everything in seconds. I had time to look out for the deer.

I had time to look at the snow and ice on the mountainsides. I had time to enjoy the trip, no matter how taxing it would be. I was able to wear a big smile the whole time, and passed it to anyone who looked my way.

There is so much truth in your story that I feel you did the right thing by passing it on. I only hope that my relaxed atmosphere over the weekend, rubbed off on someone else too. Have a very Merry Christmas!

Barbara Bieganski