21st May 2021

For the first time in my life I have found myself on the wrong side of the law. The reason: breaking the speed limit.

I hope no one will think too harshly of me. I was caught doing twenty eight miles an hour in a twenty zone. The official letter gave me a choice, either to pay the fine and accept ‘three points’ or attend an ‘on-line speed awareness course’. I chose the latter.

I have, apparently, successfully completed the course. One effect was to send me back to the Highway Code. I haven’t looked at it much since passing my test in 1971. Little has changed; apart from one or two signs. Much of the rest has become ‘second nature’ now – to me as to most drivers.

When I was starting out on the Christian life the Highway Code was often used as a way of describing the Bible. Just as we have rules for using the road so, the argument used to go, the Bible provides rules for following God’s way.

I’m not sure it was ever a very good analogy. Whatever else the Bible is, it’s not any kind of rule book. It’s far too glorious, mysterious and beautiful ever to be reduced to such a thing.

Mind you, one of the pamphlets that made much of this (complete with a Highway Code image) was called ‘The Journey of Life’. This much is true – faith is a journey and we who are Christian are travellers. But if we don’t have a Highway Code what do we have? A Companion? Fellow travellers? A leading, guiding Spirit?

Michael Docker