Have you ever been driving down the road and all of a sudden come to the realization that you zoned out and can’t remember the last few miles? It’s a scary feeling—and a potentially dangerous situation. (I bet you’re glad that you weren’t driving behind me this morning.)
Driving experts credit this zoned-out syndrome to fatigue of some sort—physical, mental, or emotional. Statistics show that it is caused from a lack of proper sleep. Well, of course, it is. I imagine very few American adults actually get a proper amount of stress-free sleep.
To combat this dangerous phenomenon of driver fatigue, engineers have created rumble strips.
Rumble strips are priceless tools used to prevent fatigue-related crashes. In fact, experts say rumble strips have reduced run-off-road crashes by an estimated 20 to 50 percent.
The strips are comprised of raised or grooved patterns that can be installed onto shoulder pavements or embedded directly into the asphalt travel lanes. The strips make a sudden, loud and distinct rumbling noise when a driver veers over onto the shoulder. And the additional car-jarring vibration from the strips immediately alerts drowsy, preoccupied, or inattentive drivers.
But what do rumble strips and driver fatigue have to do with our spirituality? A great deal, when you think about them closely.
First of all, I think we often go through our Christian journey on autopilot or cruise control. Most of us live a normal everyday existence, with a few ups and downs along the way. We do the right things at the right time, without really putting our focus and attention into the actual journey we are on. We often miss the purpose of the journey, just trying to get the driving (or living) done.
In fact, the routine, mundane nature of our everyday existence can really be fatiguing and depleting to our spirits and souls. We complete all the tasks and chores it takes to make it from day to day while ignoring or zoning out on our personal relationship with Christ.
Then, when something trying or difficult occurs, it’s almost as if these real-life rumble strips serve as a rude awakening to the road before us. And like their roadway counterparts, I think these rumble strips of life serve a purpose: to make us aware of why we are on this journey called life (to bring others along to our heavenly destination) and to keep us on the correct road of life (which exists in Christ alone).
So, if your life’s journey seems exhausting, and if you are too fatigued to even remember the last few miles – much less to have enjoyed them—then take heart! This is our rumble strip for the day. …
It’s time to get our eyes back on Him and make His priorities our own. That might take some rethinking the path we are on. And if we find ourselves lost or going in the wrong direction, maybe it’s time to stop and ask for directions. He left an excellent road map called the Bible just for this purpose. Studying His map, His Holy Word, will make the journey much easier and much less hazardous.
We might also want to take our focus off of the things that are weighing us down or distracting us. Prayer helps in that regard. In fact, He lives to make intercession on our behalf to the Father. So, if we join our prayers to His, the road of life runs a lot more smoothly—and a bit straighter. After all, He knew the end of the road from the very beginning.
And finally, it’s perfectly all right to take a break from the road in order to enjoy the beauty of God’s world along the path. And taking the time to praise and worship the Maker of this beautiful world seems only right. Plus, such joy-filled side trips with the Creator and His creation sure make the journey brighter and lighter.
Finally, let’s keep our eyes on Him. He is our destination, and He should also be our driver. Proverbs 3:6 (KJV) puts it this way: “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Now, that simple but powerful scripture is definitely a spiritual rumble strip. And if we heed this proverb’s distinct warning, we can stay on the appointed road and enjoy the journey that He desires for us.