This is not a blog about religion. It’s just my thoughts about this transition from police officer to real estate broker.
Jesus lived during a time when there were no cars. If someone was walking too slowly in front of him, he probably just said, “hello” as he passed them.
I like to think of myself as an overall good person; honest, compassionate, giving, with a lot of integrity. But I don’t feel like a very good person when I’m driving.
All that goodness seems to go right out the window. I love people, I care about them, I’ve risked my life for them and still would, but when I’m driving, all that “love” disappears, I think, as soon as I get behind the wheel.
Driving to me is fun. I love nice, fast, new sports cars. I have a decent car right now, but it’s not the Audi S5 that I want to get in the future. Still, I enjoy driving and I’m good at it. I don’t honk at people, I don’t flip them off or anything like that, but when the speed limit says 45, for example, that doesn’t mean you drive 30, 35 or even 40. It means you drive 45 or even 50. If a cop pulls you over for going 5 miles over, he may have issues or be incredibly bored. Just know this; cops are given discretion for who we issue tickets to. The quota rumor is just that; a rumor. We have no quotas. We sure don’t in big city departments anyway.
I don’t tailgate. First because it’s unsafe, and second because I used to pull people over for that all the time, especially when people would tailgate me in my squad car. I would pull over to the side, let them pass, then pull them over and issue them a citation for following too closely. Just FYI, you don’t do that to a police car. We have to make quick, sudden stops and to rear end a cop would be a very unwise thing to do.
Anyway, I often wonder how Jesus would be in traffic, having to deal with all sorts of personalities, ages, cultural differences, etc. If he were behind the wheel of an automobile would he need extra grace from God like the rest of us? I know he’d never do the road rage thing, but would his patience be stretched? Or would he simply “part the sea” of traffic and cruise on through while cars were almost on their sides? I know that’s what I’d do if I was Jesus. I’d part the sea of traffic and cruise on through…
It’s an interesting thing to contemplate because I’m normally patient and compassionate. But some days when I am behind the wheel, my good intentions are replaced with curse words under my breath. I’m actually cursing at people for, really, no good reason. I don’t feel bad at the time, but I always feel bad after I’ve cussed someone out under my breath. It’s wrong and it feels wrong. I’m working on it, though.
When I was with the Minneapolis PD and there was an “officer needs help” call during rush hour traffic, for example, I was trained to get there quickly and safely, but very aggressively. I would go the wrong way down traffic if the wrong way lanes were open and the way I was traveling was packed. An “officer needs help call” is no small deal. That call means his or her life is in imminent danger and I did everything in my power to get to them as quickly as possible.
Going the wrong way down a one way may sound crazy, but it really wasn’t. Believe me, all those cars stopped right where they were and let me by. It never felt crazy, either. It felt like, and was, the best option, and it was the way I was trained. It felt right because it was logical for me to do whatever it took to preserve that other officer’s life. It felt right to do whatever it took to preserve anyone’s life. I never did anything foolishly or carelessly. There’s a difference. I chose the safest option that made the most sense.
I was trained well as an officer. I appreciate that I was trained by a very aggressive department where we did not let crime push us around, but we took command like we should as police officers. We were taught to never let anything bad or wrong or evil get the upper hand over us. And we never did.
I know that’s why I didn’t even consider waiting for SWAT the day of the shooting. I just did what I was so well trained to do. I took control of the situation and I didn’t let evil get the upper hand. Not even for a minute.
I wonder, often, what my life will be like as a real estate broker when I love confronting danger so much. This is not easy for me. I still feel a deep sadness and huge sense of loss of my former career. Everyone does when their career was wrongfully taken from them.
I wonder how my personality will play in this new career. I’m a good listener, I care about taking care of people, I want to make them happy, but I also want to only do what is right and what is best for them. While I know this new career won’t be as exciting, I know I will serve people with the same excellence I did as a police officer.
But I definitely think I’m going to have to insist that Jesus take the wheel as I enter this new profession. And though I don’t think he’ll “part the sea” for me, I have to believe that he will make things go much more smoothly for me, with me, than if I try and do this on my own. And who knows; maybe he’ll even bring me a little excitement …just because.
I guess I shall soon find out.