The Lowest of Lows

Yesterday, I resorted to the lowest of lows. Well, pretty low. Let me explain.

I wasn’t paying attention and I got a speeding ticket on Sunday afternoon. 50 in a 35 zone. Busted. No excuse.

It was just me an Harper in the car. She was hungry and I was trying to meet up with Jen down the road so we could stop and feed her.

The officer walked to my window, asked for my cards, and strolled back to his vehicle. Meanwhile, Harper was crying hysterically in the backseat. I was devestated. Not only did I “get caught”, but my baby was starving and she had to wait.

Photo credit: Kipp Baker (Creative Commons)

A minute later, Harper calmed down and appeared to fall back asleep.

At that moment however, I peered in my rearview mirror to see the officer getting out of his car.

What did I do?

I reached back behind my seat and gently nudged Harper so that she started crying again.

I was in desperation mode. At the minumum, I wanted the officer to at least feel bad for giving me a ticket because of my bawling infant in the backseat–not to mention the screaming might provide an extra sympathy point or two.

No luck.

Mr. Po-Po gave me the spiel and wrote me up.

I resorted to the lowest of lows. I made my baby cry in order to make a police officer feel bad. Not my finest moment, for sure.

Looking back, in that moment I elevated myself over something much more important: the well being of my daughter. Yes, it’s a funny example, but such an important one. Even in the simple and small, God calls us to value others above ourselves. He wants a humble heart that is eager to prefer others.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

This rather embarrassing example reminded me to prefer and serve other people… and pay more attention to road.

::

Confession time: tell us about a traffic violation you’ve received?
What is one thing you can do today to prefer someone else?

46 Comments

  • bill (cycleguy)

    August 15, 2011

    In all my years of driving I have received only one speeding ticket. i was on I-70 through Indianapolis and a huge truck was tailgating me. I sped up to get around another vehicle. He got me and let the truck go. I was so hopping mad I wanted to yell and ask him, “In all your supposed police work, did you happen to check out the truck that was on my tail?” I chose not to. Smart move. However, when I was in college and heading to the little country church on Sunday morning that I preached at, I did resort to “I’m late to get to the church I am preaching at this morning.” Not once but twice. Fortunately, it was a different cop each time. :)

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 15, 2011

      LOL…. I’ve been there before. Thanks, Bill. :)

      Reply
  • Ryan

    August 15, 2011

    Great story. We all focus on ourselves in the moment. Honest stories like this help us all recognize what we can work on and the truths to remember next time something similar happens. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 15, 2011

      You’re welcome. Thanks for the comment, Ryan!

      Reply
  • Arny

    August 15, 2011

    Oh man…that’s brutal!

    I was turning the corner of a light….i didn’t have my seat belt….it was kinda dark out…almost…I saw the cop coming the opposite direction I slyfuly put on my seat belt…he turned around and got behind me and turned on the his lights and pulled me over. he asks for info…he just stood there…he said, “you just put that belt on right now didn’t you.” I said, “no sir…i just got out of the bank parking lot and just as i turned onto the street while i put it on…..He didn’t buy it…he saw me…i’m the idiot…ticket please!

    Reply
  • Brandon

    August 15, 2011

    Ah man! I have never gotten a ticket…my parents have threatened me if I do get one! :lol:

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 15, 2011

      the rule of the road is: be cautious and careful!

      Reply
  • Moe

    August 15, 2011

    What a foolish cop. No sympathy for a crying baby? You should have given him a ticket. :/

    I once parked outside of a Starbucks for no more than 45 seconds, I see a traffic cop come and screetch his wheels and stop just before I get in my car. He dives (in slow-mo) and scans my registration and gives me a $55 ticket. I was so pissed off that I did what anyone would do… I threw my $4.75 latte cup at his windshield and drove away. Yeah, I didn’t even wait for him to print his ticket. I’m a badass dude… that still had to pay the ticket. :/

    Reply
    • Keri

      August 15, 2011

      For the love of Starbucks, what was that cop’s problem?! Didn’t he understand that the need for coffee surpasses traffic laws?? Aaaaaand, I can totally see you doing that, Moe. hahahah

      Reply
    • Dustin

      August 15, 2011

      I should have… shouldn’t I? You threw your latte? LOL.

      Reply
      • Moe

        August 15, 2011

        I did. Bad move, now I was $54.75 short. #baddecision

        Reply
        • Moe

          August 15, 2011

          Oops meant $59.75. #badmath

          Reply
  • Keri

    August 15, 2011

    Well, at least you didn’t pull a Britney and endanger your child’s life! I will admit that I have sped or driven recklessly when my baby was crying out of hunger, all the while telling myself that I had a good excuse if I got pulled over, but I never have. I haven’t gotten a ticket in ages. But, when we lived in Europe, I got them all the time from those stinkin speed cameras! I will admit that I didn’t really care or drive carefully near them because there was no way for the Dutch police to administer the ticket to me. Because we had American govt license plates, they could only send the tickets to the Air Force, who didn’t hold us responsible for the tickets. Yeah, you could say that made me an obnoxious American. :(

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 15, 2011

      Yeah, I suppose so… still felt bad though! :)

      Reply
  • Jason Vana

    August 15, 2011

    I once got pulled over doing 86 in a 65. In my defense, my spedometer had gone all crazy and wasn’t reading completely right. The po-po didn’t care about that, though. I still got a ticket.

    Reply
  • Loren Pinilis

    August 15, 2011

    This is something that I’ve seen before again and again – and I struggle with it as well. Not using my kids to get out of a ticket, but using them to pump up my ego. I’ve seen people freak out until they get that perfect picture to put on facebook so everyone ooos and aahs over their kid. Maybe it’s pressuring them to be the best in sports or academics or dance or music, because we want to feel good about ourselves. Good stuff to think on.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 15, 2011

      good illustration, loren – i hadn’t thought of it in that way. almost like we rely on our children for our identity.

      Reply
  • Cindy Holman

    August 15, 2011

    Love your transparency here! Not feel sorry for you with a crying baby? Unheard of. I’d love to say that I’ve gotten away with speeding or parking wrong or SOMETHING to help you out here – but I’m one of those REALLY CAUTIOUS drivers. You know the kind – I get HONKED AT all the time. Yeah – not fun – but no speeding tickets in all my years driving – which I boast about quite frequently when others in my family – who shall remain nameless – give me a bad time about being a bad driver ;)

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 15, 2011

      ha! thanks for sharing, cindy – there is definitely an upside to cautious driving. you proved that here. you have more money! :)

      Reply
      • Cindy Holman

        August 15, 2011

        Yes – that’s what I’ve always told our teenage son – I can’t AFFORD a speeding ticket! Apparently HE CAN.

        Reply
  • John

    August 15, 2011

    When I was in college, in my second semester, I got two speeding tickets within one month of each other. I had to go to defensive driving at the Vietnamese market on a Sunday. I was there for six hours, in a small stuffy back room with about ten other people who, like me, couldn’t afford the comedy defensive driving class on the other side of town and had to endure this cheap class where we learned how wrong America was in entering the Vietnam war as well as why it’s wrong to speed. I have never received a speeding ticket since then. It changed me forever.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 15, 2011

      LOL, john that is hilarious. you got a lesson twofold, huh?

      Reply
  • Rob Shepherd

    August 15, 2011

    One time in college I got pulled over because my speedomitor wasn’t working. I didn’t have a fat clue how fast I was going. I told the cop that and appologized. It was my first time getting a ticket and I was so nervous I dropped my license between the seats. I told him that too. He said okay and then gave me three tickets. 1. for speeding 2. for faulty equipment 3. for not having a license. I went to court and luckily for me the judge threw all three out. Whew.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 15, 2011

      Aw, that’s awful…. I bet you were sweating and shuttering your words as well :)

      Reply
  • Ryan Tate

    August 15, 2011

    Wow, thanks for sharing Dustin. I can relate to your story, I think we all can and should.

    I don’t have any interesting speeding ticket stories. However I was in an accident one time in a snow storm and while we were waiting for the cops to come another car rear-ended us. Then, a car rear-ended the car I hit. Then, the cop showed up his car got hit as well. It was a bad storm. We all got tickets.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 15, 2011

      Man! That’s like one thing right after another after another. Did the cop give himself a ticket? :)

      Reply
  • Alex Humphrey

    August 15, 2011

    Wow Dustin, that’s hilarious.

    And good for the cop, not caving into a crying baby. haha

    A good lesson to learn. I’m really glad it didn’t pay off the way you wanted it to – otherwise we may not have this blog post and you would look a little less like Christ. :)

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 15, 2011

      Good for the cop!? How dare you!

      But you’re right… lesson learned, and I will receive that. :)

      Reply
  • Ally Garner

    August 15, 2011

    Oh gosh, what a rotten event. Geez, that officer couldn’t have a little mercy? I wonder if he would’ve given a woman a ticket. Hmmmm.

    Great lesson though. Now how are you gonna make it up to poor Harper? ;)

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 15, 2011

      So true. I do need to make it up to her somehow. Any ideas?

      Maybe I’ll give her a few extra tickles! :)

      Reply
  • Ben

    August 15, 2011

    LOL, dude…

    I have no words, but don’t worry I’m not passing judgement ’cause hey, I have NEVER used my daughter to try and win a new-home lottery.

    I mean, wait what?

    Reply
  • Ricky Anderson

    August 15, 2011

    Does this mean I should stop getting all my parenting tips from you? ‘Cause that means I’ll have to actually prepare for this baby…

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 15, 2011

      Wait… hold up… have you been getting all your tips from me?! Not sure what to say….

      :)

      Reply
  • Jon

    August 15, 2011

    Bummer man..sorry about the ticket.

    Thankfully, I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket. I think I’ve gotten a parking ticket, but have been able to stay clear for the most part. Let’s hope it continues to be that way. :)

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 16, 2011

      hope so! and yes, bummer!

      Reply
  • seekingpastor

    August 15, 2011

    That was pretty low, but it is exactly what I would do. I have only received one ticket–for failing to obey traffic signs. Everyone else was doing it was not a valid excuse, apparently.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 16, 2011

      thanks for the vote, i appreciate your support! :)

      Reply
  • Tracy

    August 15, 2011

    Be thankful!! Back in my crazy college days (which weren’t that crazy except I drove too fast all the time) I got three speeding tickets in one year. The combined severity of having three in a calendar year was $1000.00 (that’s right-one THOUSAND dollars!) or 40 hours of community service. CRAZY!!!
    I told the judge in traffic court that I would have to pay the fine because I didn’t have time for community service. He didn’t believe me and asked what my schedule was. I told him all I did during the week (taught two classes, took full load at college, studied, part time job, etc.). He looked at me and said, “You’re right! You don’t have time. I’m reducing it to $75.00. Go see the clerk…” I about fell over. I haven’t gotten a ticket since. God was incredibly merciful that day! :0)

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 16, 2011

      oh my! as a college student, i would have died at a “bill” like that. gratefully you were shown a little mercy that day. thanks for sharing! :)

      Reply
  • jenn

    August 19, 2011

    I’ve been pulled over twice, and Shiloh was in the car both times of course.

    The first time was when she was a baby and I was driving 2+ hours to the middle of nowhere to visit my (now ex) husband in prison. I didn’t realize the speed limit had changed. The officer asked where I was going. I named that town, but didn’t say it was to the prison. Apparently that is the only thing in the town because he immediately asked if that was where I was going. I said it was and he looked at Shiloh and said, “It looks like you have enough problems already. Just slow down.” No ticket.

    The second time was last fall in a school zone. I didn’t realize I was in a school zone. I did get a ticket that time and Shiloh went to preschool and told all her teachers that I had to talk to a policeman because I was driving too fast. I had to go to traffic school to get rid of that ticket. I was happy to get rid of the ticket because I was scared I would never get a job as a teacher after speeding through a school zone. (I was going the speed limit, just not for a school zone.) haha

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 21, 2011

      Ahhh school zones are traps.. :)

      Reply

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