I like to drive fast; in fact, it seems that I almost have a need for speed. Now, I know that flying down the road increases my chances for an accident, imperils others, and uses more fuel than driving in a more temperate manner. None of that changes my natural inclination to put the pedal to the metal.
Road signs along the way remind me of the speed limit, which is the law. Oftentimes, I’ll lean on the brake and comply—especially if I see a cop or know I’m about to enter an area known for speed traps. Other times, I find speed limit signs insulting: why is there a 25-mile limit here? I might as well get out and walk! Something in me wants to rebel, especially when there seems to be no good reason for slowing down.
It’s been quite a while since my last ticket, though, because of cruise control, a little gizmo that keeps me within the bounds of the law, unlike traffic signs, which only serve as a constant reminder that I need to obey or that I’m already guilty.
Cruise control, however, reminds me of God’s grace. Sure, there’s a sense of grace being like a cop tearing up the ticket I completely deserve. But such a view limits all that grace provides. Should an officer tear up the ticket if he knew I’d pull away with my tires squealing? Too often, we expect God to be like that.
That’s where the cruise control comes in. I must be willing to do the speed limit in order to set it, but once I’ve repented of speeding, so to speak, there is actually the ability to do what the law requires, which is the way grace works. It’s so much more than just being forgiven, and so much better than the law, which only confirms that I’m guilty.