My First Ticket

July 12, 1999
by Bill Russell

Romans 13:3-4 – For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. (NIV)

A number of years ago, when I was only fifteen, I had to go on an errand for my parents in downtown Toronto, Ontario. This was my first experience driving by myself in a big city. I made an illegal right-hand turn. Unknown to me, at that moment, a giant on a motorcycle hit his siren and pulled me over. Has this ever happened to you? This policeman lectured me (for what seemed like an hour), and of course gave me a big ticket. I was shaking in my boots for about an hour afterwards. In those days the fine was a large amount of money for me. I did not know how, but in the few weeks following, I scraped together enough money to pay the ticket without going to jail.

Since that time I have been pulled over on a few occasions and, to this day, still shake a little. At one time in my life I thought of applying for a charge account with the Ontario Provincial Police, as I was getting caught on a regular basis, until my attitude changed. I am sure it is also hard for you to see and hear of the disrespect our society has for our police and those who have authority over us.

In today's scripture, the apostle Paul, writing to the church at Rome, also tells of the attitudes and relationships Christians should have towards those whom God has chosen to be in authority over them. This is another reminder of how much God is in control of everything in this world.

Prayer: God, we thank you for and pray for our government leaders and the authorities whom you have selected to serve our needs. We also ask for protection for them and their families. In Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Bill Russell <billrussell@rogers.com>
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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