December 9, 2010

"Hello, Officer"

You hear the sound of a siren, barking its shrill whoop-whoop, from behind you. You feel panic set in as you check your rear-view mirror and see the tell-tale glare of red and blue lights on the roof of the cruiser behind you.Your heart jumps over itself, doubling its pace, your stomach gives an ugly twist of nauseous discomfort, and you frantically eyeball your speedometer. Your inner dialogue kicks in before you can even pull to the side of the highway:  

No! Noooo! Not now! Not today! Was I even speeding? What's the speed limit here, anyway?! I thought I saw a sign that said it was 65! It's not my fault! They don't have enough speed limit signs on this road! I'm going 60! Well, nearly 60; I mean, if you round down- it's pretty much the same thing. There's hardly any difference! Stupid cop! Stupid police! Stupid, stupid me. Ugh! I do NOT need this right now!

... It's miserable, isn't it?

I know that you can perfectly relate to what I'm talking about- that sick feeling we all get. Police, cops, law-enforcement officials, security, whatever they're called- they instill anxiety in us, even when we're not "breaking the law." I know they do in me, at least (and in every person that I've asked, as well).

But just think about that truly ironic fact...

How completely and utterly backwards is that? The "law" should inspire the opposite of fear in us. Yet the most endangered and anxious I have ever felt, in my entire life, was around police officers. And it's not even because I was doing anything illegal (which I wasn't)- it's because they have the power to screw my entire life up, and they can do it for the wrong reasons, too. Cops are just human beings. They wear badges on their chests and guns on their hips, yes, but that doesn't mean they're infallible, that they don't make wrong decisions or bad calls, that they don't sin (and sin all of the time, just like the rest of us).

So is that why we fear them? Because we know they're human, because they can make mistakes?

Or, is it because we know that we're human?

It illustrates our relationship with the Law rather well, actually. No, not the "law" of ruddy-red-cheeked men in blue uniforms, nor the "law" of speeding tickets, fines, or closed-circuit security cameras. I mean the true, inherent, natural system of Right and Wrong.

We fear cops because we know that we will slip up, and that we might get caught; because cops, thankfully, are neither omniscient nor omnipresent. They're limited, like us, by what they can see with their own two eyes, by their earshot existences. We can detect their radars, we can tail cars going faster than we are, we can pick up speed again after we crest the next hill.

But the Law isn't like that.

The Law doesn't need a flashlight to see you hiding in the dark, picking your nose. It sees and is aware of everything, no matter how shameful or debased, because it simply is and exists. It encompasses all of reality, being on its own terms, independent of speed traps or human awareness. It is omniscient and omnipresent. It's like a policeman who tails me, two steps behind, every second of every day and night of my entire life. Even more than that, though, a policeman who can read my thoughts, as well. Who can see my heart and soul with perfect vision, all of my darkest secrets and sins, my dreams (by day or night), all of the stuff that I considered to be said, or thought, in perfect privacy.

That terrifies me, a little...

But, then again, God would have foreknown that we would never be able to learn on our own.

I guess that's why He arranged for His Son.

Now, every time I trip up (as I always will), and the Law catches me (as it always will), it's as if Jesus switches to the driver's seat before the Law even has a chance to approach my pulled-over car. Then, the Law sees Jesus and immediately backs off, hands waving in apology, because the Law knows Jesus' face, it knows His perfection, and it knows that it has no right to even give Him a warning.

But that doesn't mean I just speed whenever I want to, and break as many Laws as I'd like- because I'd never get anywhere, since I'd still be getting pulled over every single time I did something wrong. But the truth is that I will mess up, still; it's unavoidable.

But thank God I don't have to fear it anymore.


jnash said...

Wow man you never cease to impress. I LOVE the image of being in the driver's seat when you sin and then Christ's Work on the cross being the equivalent to switching into the driver's seat for us.

Really relateable image haha.

Carson Bennett said...

I got a little gratification from the part about cops being fallible. Reminds me of Hunter Thompson and the FBI. Obviously with a completely different moral, but true nonetheless. I really enjoy the analogy, as well as the fallibility of man. Making mistakes is our birthright. Just as sure as we breathe we screw up. Anxiety is simply viewing the unnatural as natural. Which (could be argued) is a mess-up in and of itself.