If you are lacking a pastime, you could sit at my parents’ living room window and watch all day as a police car stops and tickets unsuspecting motorists just beyond the stop sign a half-block away. I warn you: You will feel a bit like a voyeur to a spider snagging flies.
The location for collecting fines is auspicious for the township coffers because, though there is indeed an octagonal red sign in a prominent place with the words “STOP” clearly marked on it, it is not a likely or intuited place for such a traffic sign. The side street that has the right of way is a highly unfrequented road, whereas the street with the stop sign is a main thoroughfare. As a wild guess, I would say that one car an hour takes advantage of having unimpeded ability to make that 90-degree turn.
“Well, it’s still a stop sign and people should stop,” you might say. And you would be perfectly right about that. Ours is not to question the rhyme and reason for that legal stricture, but to obey—you get no argument from me. And I suppose that if the locals complain loudly enough, their pressure on the powers-that-be will result in the uprooting of the stop sign facing the heavily trafficked road, and its placement where it logically belongs, at the end of the lightly traveled road. But the people living on the road know to make a full stop. It is only the first-time visitor who gets snagged.
As I today resisted the urge to merely slow to a crawl at the three-point intersection, and dutifully came to a full stop (I felt rather silly), I was thinking about God’s rules and laws. For our heavenly Father also has lots of commands that He asks us to keep: Observe one day of rest in seven, confess your fault to your brother before bringing your gifts to the altar, be slow to speak. But God’s rules and laws are never arbitrary; they are never entrapments. The laws of God are always perfectly just and created for our good and not our harm. To obey God’s stated laws is to walk in pathways that tend to peace and well-being.
Meanwhile, there goes another fly in the web at the corner near my parents’ house.