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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Breaking the Rules (08/16/04)

TITLE: Traffic Court
By toronto49 Aird


The courtroom, with unadorned gray marble walls, was cold and uninviting. The huge benches to squirm on were rock hard. The swinging gate, leading to the area of judgment, squeaked on its hinges heralding the entry of every victim. Culminating this nightmarish scene was the intimidating figure of an expressionless and emotionless middle aged man dressed in black. Looming large and unapproachable, he peered down from his judgment seat pronouncing his verdict on those who were unfortunate and guilty to be standing before him.

Wanting this horror to be over that wish was soon granted with the calling out of my name. Summoning strength to my legs I stood and, along with my dad, slowly stepped forward to hear of my fate. Like a childhood tattletale the gate announced our entry. The day of judgment had arrived and this trembling leaf stood before the judge.

It wasn’t suppose to be like this. On the very day of obtaining my driver’s learning permit my dad asked if I was ready for my first lesson. Excitedly slipping behind the wheel of the car we were off. The lesson went remarkably well. Acceleration was smooth, braking was a bit rough, but acceptable; then came the fateful turn. “Turn here and let’s head on home,” instructed my father. Stopping at the intersection and looking both ways the car was maneuvered onto the street that led home. However, for some inexplicable reason, the novice driver kept the steering wheel locked in the right turn position. This critical error caused a shout from dad followed by the nauseating sound of metal crashing into metal. A parked car had “moved into my path” and I had successfully taken dead aim. Damage was minimal and fortunately no one was injured…physically.

And, of course, being from a small town, the news of my driving prowess soon became the brunt of many a cruel joke. Sarcastically, many “friends” would comment, “Wish I could drive a car.” Or, “Here comes Brian! Keep your kids and cars off the streets!” Even teachers from school would comment about my name being printed in the paper under moving traffic violations for that day.

Being sixteen years old and obtaining your learning permit to drive is the day that most teenagers live for. It is a day of autonomy, coming of age, of freedom! However, this teenager wished it had never happened and that suddenly riding on two wheels didn’t seem so bad after all. My dream of independence had taken a detour through traffic court.

The judge’s stern voice asked how I pleaded. In violating one of the cardinal rules of the road, in that you can’t hit a parked car while traveling in your own vehicle, what else could the plea be other than guilty? With that admission the sentence of attending a defensive driving course was given and emphasized with a resounding bang from the judge’s gavel.

Ashamed and exhausted, home was a great deal more comforting that night. Sitting down to eat supper, mom inquired as to how it went? Trying not to think about the experience and putting on a brave front I simply answered that my punishment was to attend a class in defensive driving. Mom asked if I was okay. I assured her that I was and to prove it asked for a second helping of her delicious potato salad.

Later that evening the whole sickening adventure literally caught up with me. The vow of never learning to drive was made and broken five years later.

Once in awhile the memories of that experience drive into my mind where now they serve to remind me of the preciousness of God’s Grace. When I stand in judgment in God’s courtroom for breaking the "rules of the road" I will still plead guilty. However, beside me will be my Advocate Who will quickly avow before God the Judge that He has taken my punishment.

Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight08/23/04
Nice article and lesson!
Donna Haug08/23/04
Loved this line: "My dream of independence had taken a detour through traffic court."
L.M. Lee08/23/04
I could feel your "sick" stomach over this. I ran a stop sign when I was taking my driving test with the policeman...yuck!
Marina Rojas08/23/04
This was a real delight, and took me along for the ride and teenage angst that so often accompanies those "first steps". Really good writing.
Kenny Paul Clarkson08/24/04
I like the way you set this up with a descriptive opening paragraph. Although I was born and raised in the big city (Indy), I spent two years in a small Ohio town. Yessir, those small-town folk can be merciless!

Great article.