Parked at a stoplight, I determined that I was at the long end of the cycle allowing me to make my left turn. It’s probably germane to mention that I was in no particular hurry. For some reason, I looked around and persuaded myself that there were no police cars in the vicinity; I briefly considered making an illegal left turn. In retrospect, I don’t know why I thought about it. But magically, I had a left turn arrow that was entirely out of cycle and proceeded (lawfully) through the intersection.
Throughout our lives, we have enticements and opportunities to be a little wrong, a trifle illegal or a bit off center. It’s similar to fudging on our income taxes or parking in a handicapped space to run in “for a minute.” Without getting into whether God is watching or not, we are the same as the actions we take. Having had a handicapped plaque for a while following surgeries, I can assure you that an extra ten, twenty or thirty feet represents serious inconvenience.
Somehow, I can’t do the wrong things that may or may not be detected. The risks of doing so are far beyond the IRS audits or moving violations. If we commit those infractions, what else can we justify? In the process of saving a few minutes or a few dollars, don’t we sacrifice our integrity? Teaching our children and grandchildren and students about honesty, those lessons must be accompanied by actions and statements that are genuine.
It may be that my thoughts at the stoplight were a test – just to make certain that my moral compass was still working properly. My guess is that it would have been more difficult to break the law than to sit through as many traffic light signals as it would have taken. And the lesson – it’s never necessary to analyze or justify the right decisions that we make. While I probably wouldn’t have had any trouble sleeping if I had run the red light, I don’t know that it’s the type of thing that a role model would do. Shalom.