Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Many years ago, on a business trip to Nevada, I was happily tooling along a highway south of Reno and Carson City, in a red convertible rental car. I was heading to a place called Gardnerville, and there was nothing around me except blue sky, boulders, dust, and sagebrush … until I saw flashing red lights in my rearview mirror. I knew I was within the speed limit – I prided myself on being a good driver – so I assumed the police car was heading somewhere else. After a few more miles, I decided to pull over and just let himpass me. When the police car pulled over behind me, my heart flew into my throat. I felt sick. The trooper who came over to my car said, in amused disbelief, “Well … did we finally decide to stop?!?” “But I didn’t think you were following me,” I gasped. “I’ve been obeying all the rules and driving within the speed limit.” “Not back in Minden you weren’t,” he replied. Turns out that a small town – all five blocks of it – that I’d driven through, has a lower speed limit than the roads leading into and out of it. I didn’t know that.
Blessedly, the trooper understood that I was a visitor to the area and had never driven through Minden before. He also saw how surprised and upset I was. He gave me a warning, and told me to watch out for speed limit changes in the small towns dotting the desert. I was so relieved that I wanted to hug him. So-- I had done something wrong after all. I wasn’t as blameless as I thought. It’s a lesson I still remember. “Pride goeth … before a fall.”
©Carol Dean Henn, 2018
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
715 Lincoln Highway
North Versailles, PA 15137-2027
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