I am taking a week off to spend with my bride. I am posting “gently read” articles from the very early days of this blog. Some of these posts are like new…only read by little old ladies on Sunday afternoons. Seriously, many of you missed these offerings. I hope you find something to enjoy.
I hope you read my blog about going to Homecoming last weekend at Baylor University. It was a wonderful weekend spent with family and friends. But I want these ramblings to be authentic and real. I have an embarrassing admission to make. I drove and parked carefully in Waco last weekend because I feared I was a wanted man. Let me explain.
October 22nd dawned sunny and pleasant in scenic Garland, Texas. I blissfully strode to the mailbox to retrieve my daily dose of catalogues, junk mail, and bills. I sorted through the stack.
“No annual fee for 12 months” – Correct. I am tearing it up.
“A Special Invitation from Miracle Ear” – I don’t like what I can hear. No thanks.
“A Charming Way to Show off Your Cleveland Browns Pride” – After last Sunday??? How about therapy?
“A Special 14 Hour Sale Just For You” – I can’t be there. You can go ahead and cancel it.
And then the heart stopper.
Please be advised that Judge (I don’t want to make him mad), City of Waco Muncipal Court Judge, has issued a warrant for your arrest.
This got my attention.
This may be your last opportunity to pay.
This is Texas…that is a scary statement.
You also can be arrested at your work or home.
They would have a hard time finding me working but this is serious stuff!
My mind raced. I thought that this is going to hurt the very modest sales of my Christian books when I am cuffed and dragged off to the big house. The next thought was what the blazes had I done to be a wanted man? I called the City of Waco offices and gave them my case number (my first time to have a case number). I was thinking insanity would be my plea…witnesses would be no problem. The clerk informed me that my offense was actually a parking ticket picked up and ingnored by my first born while he attended Baylor. I could simply admit my (his) guilt, give them a credit card number, and avoid having a humiliating mug shot on file. She turned to the records to enter my payment.
“Oh wait,” she said. “This was paid in full in 1999.”
“So if I had been pulled over in Waco this weekend I would have been cuffed and jailed for an offense that has been cleared?”
“Sorry Sir, I will fix that.”
For some reason I didn’t have a lot of confidence in the record keeping on the Brazos. I asked her to send me a copy of the debt payment just in case I somehow, inexplicably, for the first time in my life, was caught speeding through Waco. On Thursday before Homecoming I received a notarized release of my guilt. I carried it in my pocket all weekend.
Later I thought how scary that notice was and I was innocent! I can’t imagine the fear I would have experienced had I been guilty and received that warrant.
It made me think of another life experience where I fought the law. As I examined God’s Word I realized that I could not keep the law and live a sinless life that would allow me to be declared innocent in front of a Holy God. For a while I fought the law, and the law won (is there a song in there somewhere?). But I realized I could never reconcile with a Holy God on my own merit. James says if you break one part of the law you have violated all of it.
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. James 2:10 NIV
I had broken large chunks of the law. But when I read further I found out something very interesting. My debt had been paid in full over 2,000 years ago. I would not get a notarized copy but I would get the reassuring presence of the Holy Spirit. If I was terrified to face the City of Waco what would it be like to face a Holy and Righteous God with a warrant issued for my sin?
I will never know. My debt has been paid by Jesus. I fought the law and the Lord won. If your warrant is still active may I encourage you to get it cancelled? My email address is on this website if I can answer any questions.