Just this last week, I was be-bopping down our county road on my way to pick up my son from high school classes and thinking about my day ahead. I had a lot to accomplish that day and was planning out each errand and appointment I had scheduled. Not to mention I was also asking myself, what was for dinner, how many loads of laundry did I need to do so we all had clean underwear? I also wondered out loud, why did my kids have to eat three meals a day anyway? Ridiculous! As a result of my preoccupation I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to my speedometer. Coming around the bend I picked up speed down a natural decline in the road, when I noticed an oncoming truck in the other lane out of the corner of my eye. Blink, blink, blink, blink. I received four gentle flashes of his high beams aimed directly at me and I realized in some small part of my brain that this could be the intentional good motorist warning that there was a speed trap or policeman up ahead. I began to slow down considerably and kept my eyes peeled to see if I had interpreted the warning correctly. It turns out that I had. There he was, a black and white sheriff’s car pulled back into a bushy and wooded area that made him invisible to both lanes of traffic. Had I not been looking for him I would not have seen him until I zipped past him. With a heart overflowing with gratitude, I thanked the unknown motorist in my head. Without his warning I may have had a very different morning. Did I forget to mention this was a Monday? It was, and everyone knows Mondays can be quite dangerous for the rest of the week when they don’t go well. At least in my vast experience, ha! All this got me thinking about the heads up I had received regarding the potential danger that lay ahead of my path. I contemplated whether or not to share this warning as I continued on my journey and saw the oncoming traffic headed down the hill towards the policeman’s hiding place. I realized I had the power to effectively warn and save someone else’s day.
It isn’t always the case that we receive a warning when we are headed into trouble, but then again, sometimes we do. Quite often there is a gentle warning sign that is up to us to heed. How many times in your life have you felt that still small voice saying this is not a great idea, heard the no in your head, or felt compelled to turn away from something? When you have a niggling doubt concerning the plans of a friend or feel disconcerted by the look of something? It is the whisper of God- speaking His gentle warning in your heart. Caution! Take care! Turn back from this path-heed this warning sign! If you do so, you might just save yourself some heartache and pain. It is not the will of God that we experience heartaches and hard ships, in fact He wants the very best for us. The Bible tells us, “For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
God’s thoughts are for me! He wants peace and not evil, and He desires to give me a future and a hope. I don’t know about you but I can really use that hope. While I don’t believe that we will never have pain or problems, I do think that sometimes we have the ability to save ourselves from some of the consequences of our actions by taking a moment to slow down and listen, fully, with our whole hearts. As you might imagine, when I returned from picking up my son at school, I paid a lot more attention to the posted speed limit and took the time to really slow down and watch for danger ahead. I didn’t see the sheriff on my return trip but I knew he had been there. The Bible says, in Proverbs 27:12
“The wise see danger ahead and avoid it, but fools keep going and get into trouble”
I don’t want to be thought of as a fool and I’m sure you don’t either. Remember to check in, to listen to your intuition, and to proceed with caution, prayerfully and deliberately. By doing so you can avoid being foolish and getting into trouble. The benefits of doing so can have long reaching effects as well.
The rest of this week I have been very vigilant about my speed, paying attention to the traffic around me and making sure I follow the posted speed limits. I haven’t allowed my attention to wander as I’m driving and I’m keeping my eyes open for any hidden speed traps. In the drive of life we need to do the same-looking ahead to the danger so we can avoid it.