Friday, October 10, 2008

Do the crime, do the Time....

Judge sentences rap music fan to Bach, Beethoven - Yahoo! News
Judge sentences rap music fan to Bach, Beethoven

30 minutes ago

URBANA, Ohio - A defendant had a hard time facing the music.

Andrew Vactor was facing a $150 fine for playing rap music too loudly on his car stereo in July. But a judge offered to reduce that to $35 if Vactor spent 20 hours listening to classical music by the likes of Bach, Beethoven and Chopin.

Vactor, 24, lasted only about 15 minutes, a probation officer said.

It wasn't the music, Vactor said, he just needed to be at practice with the rest of the Urbana University basketball team.

"I didn't have the time to deal with that," he said. "I just decided to pay the fine."

Champaign County Municipal Court Judge Susan Fornof-Lippencott says the idea was to force Vactor to listen to something he might not prefer, just as other people had no choice but to listen to his loud rap music.

"I think a lot of people don't like to be forced to listen to music," she said.

She's also taped TV shows for defendants in other cases to watch on topics such as financial responsibility. As she sees it, they get the chance to have their fine reduced "and at the same time broaden their horizons."

I think there's a parallel here with what God sometimes does as He disciplines us. Usually we identify one or two things that we just don't think we can give up. For some of us, it's certain habits, for others, certain geographic locations. For some, it's the comfort of the pew (or chair!), the anonymity of the back row, the ease of home, the prosperity of our careers. Whatever it may be, when it becomes a stumbling block to our growth, God disciplines us by challenging us right there. Believe me, God's discipline and training comes in the areas we need it most. And like this judge, God often allows us the option that will stretch us, maybe inconvenience us, but not bury us under a mountain. Or we can take the baggage of bigger pain instead, but what do we learn? And do we change our behavior?

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