I am the youngest cousin on my mom’s side of the family.  Growing up I heard quite a few tales of my older cousins wild escapades.  I was a naturally cautious child. Introverted and painfully shy would have been two accurate descriptions of me.   In school I listened to the teacher, turned my home work in on time and studied to get good grades.  I never quite understood how other people thrived on the excitement  breaking the rules.  I spent my years as a child wanting to be good and for the most part that has carried over into most of my adult choices.

I remember my mom telling me a story about how my cousins wouldn’t bother to register a car, they would just take the plates off another car and put it on their newest acquisition.  I was somewhat appalled.  After all, that was directly breaking the law and what would happen if they got pulled over by the police?  I’m sure if any of them were to read this they would laugh at my naiveté.

My husband actually drove his car for over two years with expired plates.  The one time a police officer pulled us over he didn’t seem to notice the expired plates. Then came the day when I started driving with expired tags!  I couldn’t believe I was doing something so “dangerous”.  Yes, I’m sure you are laughing at me.  I didn’t plan for it to happen.  I knew my tags would expire in a couple of months so I began all the necessary paperwork a couple of months ahead of the expiration date.

We had moved to a new state and it required more paperwork than I had needed previously in other states.  For starters I needed my title, which of course I couldn’t find.  After a couple of false starts I determined my original title was in Alaska.  It shouldn’t have been so hard to figure out, after all that is where I bought the car.  But, that is when the fun began.  I messed up the paperwork at least five times and by the time I sent it to them and they sent it back to me and I took it to the bank to be notarized again I did not get my title in time to renew my tags before they expired.  So I began driving my car with expired tags.  I managed to get away with it about four and a half months.  Then came the fateful day when I saw the flashing red lights in my rear view mirror.   Busted. I pulled over and much to my dismay my expired plates were  taken and my car towed home all while it poured down rain in buckets.

As you know, a title is proof of ownership.  Since I now had the title, I took it to the DMV who would not register my car without my ex-husband signing off on the title.  This should not have been a problem as the title clearly stated either his name “or” my name in ownership rather than “and”, but they were insistent.  The car was clearly mine as the divorce papers stated, but I literally went into the DMV four times with the finished required paperwork they had given me the time before and each time they gave me more paperwork to be signed.

Today, when I finally walked out of the DMV with my temporary tags, I literally squealed in delight.  I am no longer driving a car with expired tags.  Ok, so I have one more confession to make: Since my car had no plates and my husband’s car broke down about a month ago while we were in the process of trying to finish the paperwork to register my car, he took one of the plates off of his car and put it on the back of my car.  I was even more appalled to be doing exactly what I thought of as a child as being the type of law-breaker I would never become, ever.

Now that I have correctly tagged my car, I am no longer a law-breaker.  I have rejoined the ranks of law-abiding citizens.  I felt a little like I had finally been accepted into the “club”.  Brett, on the other hand, is still wandering the dark lands on the other side of the fence as he endeavors to do our taxes. (Uhm, Brett added that last sentence, I’m not sure how doing the taxes has anything to do with finally driving legally, but maybe all the paperwork has rattled his brain.)

I am so thankful that joining the family of God, does not require so much work.  God accepts us when we come to Him the first time.  He does not require more “paperwork”.  In fact, He has already done all the “paper work” and is even willing to give us a down payment on the title of our hearts! Certainly you have heard Paul say:

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-15

God wants us to know for certain that we belong to Him and have eternal life NOW, that He gives us the Holy Spirit as evidence for our faith that we belong to Him.  So if you have the Holy Spirit working with you, have no doubt or fear, you are a child of the King and have already begun to live eternally…no signatures required.

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