Going on Serve is great. One of my favorite parts about Serve is not the delicious food, not meeting up with new leaders, not joining in the impromptu volleyball games (although all these things are great and inevitably always present in abundance!). I love all these things for sure; but one of my favorite things about Serve is that I get to rent a van.
Yeah, that’s right: I get to rent a van. Great stuff happens in a van full of eager and excited students. There’s the singing, the endless containers of cookies, the stories, the Madlibs, the coloring contests (these are typically very intense), and on and on. These van rides are great! Although, in the interest of full disclosure, one of my greatest joys in these van rides is the fact that I get to drive a big vehicle. Hearing the roar of an engine larger than a puny four-cylinder is quite an experience for a guy who has spent way too much time driving a little Saturn around over the years. Seriously, I have to hold myself back when I leave the rental company’s parking lot so that I don’t peal out right then and there. This unfortunate personality trait is what led to one of our group’s most memorable van rides.
There really should be some kind of exemption. I mean, how do the police really expect a guy like me to go only 65 mph (104 kph) in a great big V8 on the open road? It’s just not fair.
So there we were, riding in our van to Sioux Falls for Serve. We were excited and ready for a week of worship and service. Just a mile north of Mankato, MN, on one of the most beautiful stretches of road in the country (which also happens to be a notorious stretch of highway for pulling over speeding Minnesota Vikings), we passed a policeman hanging out in the median, who promptly turned in behind us and turned on his lights in pursuit.
I was dumbfounded. Here I was with a van full of students, heading out to Serve, and now I had to talk to a policeman about speeding in a rental van that cruised so beautifully down the road. Honestly, with all the energy, sugar, and excitement pumping through that vehicle, I should have been pulled over and given a medal for only going 75 mph, not a ticket.
But it was a ticket I got, and a nice little lecture as a bonus. It was a lesson in humility, and one that my students have never let me forget, especially since I had been pulled over in the middle of North Dakota coming back from Serve a couple years before. I believe I have learned my lesson . . . for now anyway!