Pulling over to the curb so he could pass, I watched as he turned into a space, cut short, and hit a new family-style van, crunching the rear quarter panel. He straightened out, pulled through, and parked one row in front of the van. I eased down the aisle, parked one row behind the van, and crouched behind my steering wheel, waiting to see what he would do next.
He exited his sedan wearing a dark overcoat, $600 shoes, and a tailored suit. As he walked around the front of his car, he glanced at his fender, and continued towards the store.
What! He was supposed to carefully examine the other vehicle. He was supposed to write a little note and stick it under the windshield wiper, claiming responsibility and giving his personal and insurance information. He was supposed to, well… care.
I went to Catholic school, and let me tell you those nuns taught us to follow the rules and always tell the truth. So my first reaction was horror. Did he not realize the eternal consequences to his soul? Even worse, did he just not care?
My second reaction was outrage. Who did he think he was, after all? What right did he have to just waltz away from his responsibility and leave someone else holding the bag? Finally, I got around to indignity and self-righteousness. Why, I would never do something like that! And then practicality hit, and I sucked in my breath sharply as the truth hit me full strength. Because what if I did something wrong and someone saw me? They could turn me in, or gossip about me, and everyone in the world would know!
But here’s the thing. Someone did see. Someone always sees. Our All-Knowing and All-Loving God. Who is, by the way, much more humbling than some brutish Mafioso. And I’m willing to bet He has a much better sense of humor about a botched left turn.
So what about you? How do you decide what to do in questionable situations? Do you do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do? Or do you do it because you are afraid you will get caught?