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July 25, 2010 / joelmalm

Joel Malm: International Fugitive

Stealing-Grapes

Stealing grapes from a guy's backyard in Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is a real country.  Nestled in the Alps between Switzerland and Austria it’s a flash back to another era.  The  countryside is spotted with giant castles ensconced among alpine hills, all set against the backdrop of snow-capped peaks.  It’s a wonderful place.  Vaduz, the capital, has about 5,000 people.  It’s tiny.  The whole country has about 3 stoplights.  I ran one of them.  Swept up in the grandeur of my surroundings I blew through one-third of the stoplights in the entire country.

The intersection lit up like a paparazzi feeding frenzy.  The flashes were blinding.  The traffic camera had captured my heinous infraction of Liechtensteinian law.

My mind began to race.  I have a perfect driving record.  I’ve never gotten a ticket.  This can’t be happening.

Will they come and get me immediately?

No, that’s impossible.  No country is that organized.

Wait, this is a Swiss rental car.  Ha!  They’ll never get me.  I’ll be over the border before they know what hit them!

Oh my gosh!  I bet Switzerland and Liechtenstein work closely together, the border was completely unguarded.  They can track me through the rental car company.  Hertz has my credit card info.

Hehe!  I’ll cancel the card before I go back to Texas.  Shoot!  They’ll still have my address!  Does Switzerland have extradition agreements with the United States?  Oh no! They’ll come to mom and dad’s house looking for me!

That’s ok.  Dad and mom can lie for me.  They can say they don’t know where I am.  Dad’s a pastor, they’ll believe him.

Within three blocks of the stoplight I was an international criminal (in my mind at least).  It took me about fifteen minutes to regain control of my breathing.  I settled myself down.  “If they catch me – they catch me,” I told myself.  “There is nothing you can do about it.  So calm down, enjoy this wonderful place you are in and stop worrying.”

For the record (or never on the record).  I never got a ticket.  They never found me.

Have you ever noticed how our minds have a way of worrying about nearly everything and ruining even the best of moments?  Don’t let worry ruin your day.  “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matt. 6:27) Take control of your mind and rest in God’s peace.  Then go enjoy your Liechtenstein.  (I know that last line is cheezy, but that’s all I got – it’s early)

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