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As I was nearing home after my morning walk, I noticed that a parking ticket was perched on the windshield of a car parked down the street from my house. Poor guy, I thought, that’s twenty-eight bucks out of his pocket. Then it occurred to me that it was then Tuesday between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. Parking is prohibited along this street during those two hours each week so that the large city street-sweeper can swoop through and clean the street.

Uh-oh, I thought, did I forget, too? Did I leave my car on the street? I quickened my pace. I peered ahead. Yes, my car is on the street. And there is that blasted yellow citation envelope on the front windshield! Doggone it, they got me–again!

Don’t the police have anything better to do? Are there no more criminals to catch? Can’t a citizen park his own car in front of his own house without being harassed?

I was fuming. I yanked the envelope off the windshield, tempted to tear it up. In fact, several years ago, I had done just that, but I learned the hard way the folly of that reaction. (When I went to pay my annual vehicle registration fee, I had to also pay double fines for the two citations I had angrily torn up.) So, I was not in a pleasant mood as I strode into my house with my $28 parking ticket firmly in hand.

Still trying to calm myself down and to put this irritating event into better ‘perspective,’ I mentally reviewed the reasons for the parking regulation I had violated (and which was clearly posted on signs along the street). When I first moved here some years ago, my neighbors were angry because city officials had allowed this street to become very dirty. The residents wrote letters, circulated petitions, made phone calls, held meetings, lobbied, and agitated. They demanded that the city do something about it.

They got action. The city started cleaning the street every Tuesday morning between seven-thirty and nine-thirty. It was also, of course, made illegal to park on the street during the cleaning time. Signs to that effect were posted.

I began to realize that the law which had ‘bitten’ me was not bad, but good. If I wanted a clean street in front of my house, then I had to get my car off the street when the sweeper came to do its job. The law was for my good. It was certainly no fault of the law that I kept forgetting to do my part.

This is true in life. How many times we rail against the laws of God. We often feel that His laws cramp our style, deny us pleasure, block our freedom. It is more than just humor when we say, ‘Everything fun is either immoral, illegal, or fattening.’

But, in truth, we know that God’s laws are for our own good. They are written into the very fiber of our beings. They are there because God loves us.

When we sin, we don’t really sin against law, we sin against love. God wants us to be happy. Happiness and holiness go together. You can’t have one without the other. The psalmist says of the happy man, ‘His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.’ (Psalm 1:2)

‘Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.’ (Psalm 119:18)”

Donald Russell Robertson – “Dear You”

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Dear You


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