The L. A. Car Pool Lane

When I first started working as a chaplain at Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles I always worked one day on a weekend. When I was working on Saturday or Sunday I took the whole family to the mission with me. My wife Jerelyn and my four daughters spent the day in the missions great big Coffee Room.

The coffee room pretty well stretched from the alley to the sidewalk and had a long treat and coffee bar, ping pong table. a pool table, books. magazines, puzzles and many other things. My family always had a fun day mixing it up with the men on the Missions recovery program men as they came into the coffee bar for coffee or treats. The program men adored my four girls and my girls loved them right back.

That meant when we left we to go home we had six people in the car. That meant we could always use the freeways carpool lane . At that time the speed limit in the carpool lane was 55 MPH.

When I was driving in the carpool lane I insisted on driving at 55 MPH. That was to the great frustration of the other drivers using the carpool lane. The other drivers very much wanted to drive at much more than the posted speed limit. I felt so self righteous. The other drivers felt very angry. My wife and daughters sided with the frustrated drivers.

After driving in the car pool lane at the speed limit for months something happened that destroyed my thoroughly enjoyable sense of superiority. As it happened the Auto Club offered a free test of speedometer accuracy. I took our old Ford car into to have its speedometer checked.

To my deep embarrassment when I thought I was doing 55 MPH I was actually driving at 47 MPH. That did serious damage to my months long indulgence in self righteousness. I felt really foolish instead.

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