Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Proceed With Caution
Do you guys have these signs on the freeways where you live? I never really paid much attention until recently when I am doing a lot more freeway driving. On a daily basis now I pass under these signs. And this winter has brought a lot of early morning snowy commutes making me extra grateful for these alerts. The signs change continually to warn drivers of accidents ahead, traffic tie-ups, hazardous conditions and even Amber alerts when children are abducted. They are so current that they actually give you the specific number of minutes until you will reach upcoming exits. And yes, I have timed them and they are accurate.
On my way in to work the other day it was blizzardy and icy and the first sign I saw alerted me that traffic was at a stand still at Michigan Avenue, black ice was causing dangerous conditions and to proceed slowly and with caution. A few miles later I was warned that the entrance ramp to I96 was blocked in the left lane due to a spin-out. Creeping along with windshield wipers barely keeping up and thanking Jesus again for four-wheel drive, I thought to myself, if only my life was equipped with signs to warn me away from danger. Or even just to slow down and proceed with caution.
Then again, if the weather guy on Fox 2 News has already informed me to leave extra early and Jackie Paige the traffic chick has shown me a giant map with information, needing light-up signs to keep me on the alert ten minutes later may be an indication of ADD.
Anyway, I am grateful for these signs and for whoever it is sitting wherever they are continually giving me new information to keep me safe. Do you ever have moments in life when something takes you completely by surprise and you wish someone had posted a giant blinking sign a few miles up to prepare you? Slow down! Be careful! Someone just spun out ahead of you and you might crash into their mess! You didn't heed the warnings so now you're running behind! It's going to be this long before you reach your goal! Hey! You need to detour RIGHT NOW! I don't know. Maybe if I had too much information ahead of time, I'd be so scared I'd sit in my living room and never go anywhere, figuratively and literally. If God had given me a moment by moment update of some of things I could have expected in my life I would have been "prepared." but within my own wisdom. Which is basically non-existent.
When it comes to driving, God certainly puts his hand on me and provides his angels to stand guard allowing me safe travel. I am a firm believer in praying for safety on the road. My parents always prayed in the car for traveling safety before we left on long trips. This stuck with me and I continue to pray for traveling safety daily for my family. At the same time, my own sense of responsibility comes in to play. No sign will save the day if I'm driving seventy miles an hour through a blizzard. This is why I hung up on the Mr. the other day while merging on to the freeway. It is my choice to not add danger to the roadways. Haven't you been endangered by another driver who thought the rules did not apply to him? There is much I cannot control during my commutes but that which I can take accountability for, I do.
In my life, it is a similar mix of taking responsibility, praying for safety and wisdom and being sensitive to the "signs" that are there if I am careful to look for them. No, I've not yet had a giant amber sign tell me that I need to guard my words. But experience, the Word and the Holy Spirit's prompting are enough to hold me accountable.
It is the purpose of God to give us all that is required for safe passage. Journeys are not always easy but we do not traverse uncharted territory. There is one who goes ahead and prepares the way for those who are wise enough to pay attention. With too much information our faith would become stagnant from disuse. Without enough faith we would not have the wisdom to earnestly seek after Christ for direction. And without direction we would lack the ability to find our way.
So maybe we have just enough "signs" to point us toward our destination. Perhaps our greatest problem is that we will not commit to what that destination is.
Isaiah 35:8 And a highway will be there;it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way;wicked fools will not go about on it.