One day while pioneering, I was driving a car group. 2 pioneer peers of mine--great buddies, one non-pio peer (all in my age group) worked a late afternoon one autumn. An elderette (who counted her time to the minute and would go "off the clock" on long commutes to territory and break time--who was ALWAYS behind on her 90hr/mo for some strange reason) needed to put in a long day, so she jumped into our group. Ok, cool, whatevs...
At some point on the drive, the conversation changed topics to speeding & parking tickets. I spoke up and informed the group how I'd received several tickets and successfully fought them all in court and none of them went on my record. In our county, $35 of any traffic ticket was for "court costs." So, it is reasonable then that if you're going to PAY for the court cost anyway, then use it! Right? Take it to court--you're paying for that service whether you take it to court or grab your ankles and pay the entire ticket. Why pay the full amount, have a violation on your record and then an increase in your insurance for the next 3-5 years? If the cop doesn't appear in court (and mine never did), the judge must throw it out and you don't even have to pay the $35! You pay nothing and it cannot be rescheduled. The whole thing is tossed, guaranteed.
My buddies were amazed. We went on to have a decent afternoon.
Several evenings later, I'm walking into the hall for book study. 2 elders approach me at my car and asked if they could talk to me as we walked in. (Gulp!) "Sure, what's up?"
Now understand, these elders were young; some of the "cool" elders who were decent, fun and approachable. One of them looked at me with a grin. He said, "Dario... We REALLY don't think this merits a discussion, but (he looks at the other elder and they both roll their eyes), a matter was brought to our attention and, well, as elders, we HAVE to report back that we at least spoke to you about this. Sister Fatso's conscience was bothered by something you admitted in service the other day."
(at this point, I was racking my brain wondering what I could've possibly said that offended her)
"Really? Something I 'admitted' to?! What could it possibly be? I'm honestly clueless--we all had a decent afternoon together."
"Well, she enjoyed the time with you brothers, but when she got home, she told her (elder) husband that you've been getting tickets and figured out a way to cheat the system? And that you encouraged (3 names) to do the same thing?"
i stopped in my tracks, set down my briefcase and just looked at them in disbelief
"Are you kidding me right now? SERIOUSLY??? She got upset over THAT? First of all, I haven't "cheated" any "system." It's spelled out on the back of any traffic ticket. You pay court costs as part of your fine whether you appear or not! If you appear and the cop isn't there, it's tossed--that's not cheating anything it's strategy!"
"Ok, look--we know this is stupid. She has a history of nitpicking and we see nothing wrong with anything you did or said, but in order to "keep the peace," you might let her know the elders spoke to you and apologize for offending her."
believe me--I DID let her know. I was pissed OFF. I circumvented her and went to her husband (the nazi who insulted my haircut in my other post). I figured he put her up to it. When I approached him, he snickered and rolled his eyes: "yeah... That sounds like something my wife would do hahaha! Sorry about that."
When I approached her in service a few days later, all she said was, "Well... let your conscience be your guide. If it were ME, I would do the right thing and BACK PAY ALL THOSE TICKETS."
Needless to say, I didn't do that lol. And I definitely didn't offer any apologies. All I said was, and I quote, "Well, my conscience guides ME to follow the counsel of Matthew 18 and approach the person who offended me FIRST before taking anything to the congregation." Zzzzing!!!