Today in TALES FROM THE TOLL BOOTH I would like to tell you about a young man I encountered earlier today. He was driving a small rental car and did not grasp the idea that he was on anything more than a regular highway. He didn’t have a ticket and he didn’t have an EZ Pass transponder. You know what that means if you read my very first installment of Tales From the Toll Booth. For any first time readers, let me fill you in.
I work on a private toll road that runs currently by a ticket system which requires a paper ticket gotten at entry to prove your starting point. It also uses the EZ Pass system which involves purchasing an electronic tracking device installed in your vehicle for direct withdrawal payments for tolls. (There’s also the expanding AET system already in effect in limited locations in addition to the two systems I have just mentioned. Three systems on one road? Can you say CONFUSING? I feel sorry for our customers).
This particular customer had neither of the requirements to be on the road legally, soooooo, policy mandates charging from the furtherest point in these situations. I had the unpleasant task of informing this young man that he now owed an exorbitant amount for his toll. He was NOT happy. Out of curiosity I asked him why he didn’t grab a ticket. This was his response:
“I’m not gonna stop when all the other cars are flying through without stopping. It’s a highway. Everyone in front of me went straight through the lanes. No one else stopped to get a ticket.”
Odd as it may seem to you, this is not an uncommon response. He grudgingly paid his fare of $31.60 and peeled out of the lane, impressing no one except himself.
All afternoon I thought about this young man. If only he had paid attention to the signs posted. If only he had thought for himself he could have saved a wad of money. But he was caught up in the lemming effect of pop culture. Simply following the person or car in front of you without careful thought about your journey or destination. Lemmings migrate together but do not commit mass suicide as believed in the past. An individual lemming can change paths if it senses danger. Unfortunately for lemmings, most of them seem to trust the crowd.
“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.” The Message Bible
This is the softest version of this verse. Compare it with some other translations (always a good practice) and come to your own conclusions. Think for yourself. Don’t rest in what could be Crowd Mentality because it may be a dangerous false security that will gravely affect your future and eternity.
FLURISHING requires proactivity and diligence. How does that look in your life?
Shine on. . .