A Life Lesson From a Speeding Ticket

My heart pounded as I tried to figure out where my GPS was taking me. An hour into a three-hour trip and I was lost. I hated to be late for my appointment.

I’d been buzzing along at 70 mph when my GPS detoured me through a small town with slow two-lane traffic. As soon as I hit a divided four-lane road I resumed my former speed—plus an extra five mph to make up for lost time.

In my distracted state, I’d failed to notice the slower speed of the other cars. When I finally spotted the speed limit—55I tapped the brakes. But it was too late. Blue lights flashed behind me several cars back. Maybe it’s an ambulance, I hoped. The lights wove through the cars and settled behind me. Ugh…

All I could do was pray for mercy. The mild mannered cop had none.

I looked for someone to blame, but I was the problem. I’d been so concerned about my destination that I’d lost touch with my surroundings.

Unfortunately, I’m also guilty of speeding through life.

I excuse rushing by telling myself I’ll have more time for better things later. But hurrying, even for a short stretch, takes the joy out of where I am and what I’m doing. And worse, it causes me to push others and miss the pleasure of their company.

During a Q & A session with a leadership team of a ministry that works with at-risk women, a leader asked me how they could help the women they mentor promptly reconcile with relatives who’d formerly betrayed them. In other words, how do they speed up their healing?

I suggested they help them identify and take the next step. “Pushing someone to an ideal they are not ready to take doesn’t speed up the process” I said. “When we faithfully stay in step with God, He takes us where we need to go and transforms us in the process.”

My words applied to me. Speeding through life is counter-productive. Click To Tweet When I trust God with the detours and snags of life, I have peace; I’m changed, and God is glorified by my faith.

What about you?

  • Where are you feeling rushed?
  • How does this affect your joy and peace?
  • Who else suffers because of your focus?

Stop Speeding

Our heavenly Father offers wise counsel with a warning:

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we…will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift!” (Is. 30:15-16 NIV).

Speeding didn’t help me find my way or make up for lost time. It added stress and regret. Going the speed limit may feel s-l-o-w, but it reflects trust in God and invites His blessing. Take a lesson from my ticket. Chill. Heed the road signs. Enjoy the ride. “In quietness and trust is your strength.” Is. 30:15 Click To Tweet

Click here to comment.


Debbie Wilson

Debbie W. Wilson


Do you promise yourself, one more thing and then you’ll rest. How do we know when we’ve done enough?

Give Yourself a Break proclaims good news: It’s not up to you; Jesus is enough!

Don’t let worry, guilt, unreasonable people, or unrealistic expectations steal one more day of peace and joy. Experience the simplicity of trusting Jesus.

Photo by: Highway Patrol Images

Linking with: #LivefreeThursday,


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  1. Marilyn Couch

    I’m praying for the outcome of your ticket. For me the real challenge
    is to chill and trust after something like this happens. Unfortunately,
    have had lots of experience in this area – I must be a slow learner!
    Thank-you, my friend, for passing on and sharing your experiences
    so that we all might learn and benefit.

    • Debbie

      Marilyn, thanks for praying and sharing. It is easy to beat up on yourself and fret after you mess up. I keep reminding myself of Psalms 91:15, “He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”

  2. Diane Allen

    Oh Debbie – The same thing happened to me this spring – twice! I was hurrying as well – as it typical for me. This is a great lesson connection. Thank you for being such an encouragement.

    About the ticket: You can ask that it be reduced when you go to court or then ask for a prayer for judgement continued to avoid having it on your insurance (one per household/3 year).

    • Debbie

      I’m so sorry Diane. It feels terrible, doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing.

  3. Caroline Gavin

    Debbie, I am very sorry to read about the ticket! I appreciate tremendously, though, your heart for God in the midst of it all. “Speeding through life to beat some phantom clock is counter-productive. When I choose to trust God with the detours and snags, I have peace; I’m changed, and God is glorified by my faith.” Beautifully expressed! Staying present and savoring God’s presence brings inexpressible peace. Thank you for allowing God’s light to shine through you in a time of trial! His blessings and my gratitude, Caroline

    • Debbie

      Thank you, Caroline. I appreciate the encouragement.

  4. Ann Musico

    “If we faithfully stay in step with God, He takes us where we need to go and transforms us in the process.” I needed to hear that today Deborah. I find this especially as it relates to my business and wanting to grow it quickly so my husband will be able to retire in a few years and not feel financial pressure or so I can help my daughter with her education loans – but rushing to try and do something that is not in God’s will or timing is a waste of time. He knows what we need and when we need it. Thanks for reminding me.

    • Debbie

      Ann, Some days I am at total peace, and others, something takes hold of me and I feel this crazy pressure. I certainly identify with you. We all need reminders, don’t we? Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. Patrick Hurley

    Brilliant insights from a painful experience, just brilliant.

  6. stephanie sudano

    just wondering, did you write this with me in mind:)?! i am just today suffering from regret regarding several recent exchanges with other people – i was “speeding” through my appointed time with each of them – and said and did things that did not reflect the Jesus that I want to reflect. i deserve a ticket! thank you that instead i got a reminder from you, God’s grace, and another chance to try and get it right:) thank you for your incredible work debbie.

  7. Meg

    Love being on the receiving end of the wisdom without the ticket! Perfect, usable imagery~ thank you! And let me know about how to get my hands on your Bible studies when you get a second.
    Thank you!

    • Debbie

      Yes, Meg, so much better to learn from other’s mistakes! “Give Yourself a Break,” a study on entering God’s rest, should be ready next month. Thanks for asking!

  8. Marianne

    Have you been reading my mind or my journals? I like your phrase “Phantom Clock”. God never pushes us to try to beat a clock, but the devil surely loves to drive us to speed through life. It certainly takes the joy out of the journey when we rush through it. And, we usually don’t accomplish what we want when we are rushing. I’m getting better at recognizing the signs of drivenness and I’m learning to do my best and leave the rest to God.

    Have a Victorious Day!

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