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« Nothing is Not Happening | Main | What’s the Word on the Word? »

Accident Prone

nascarcrash.jpg“Some…have made shipwreck.” 1 Timothy 1:19

Had a fender-bender lately? Fallen down the stairs? Cut a wicked slice in your hand while using a knife? Most home, job and traffic accidents occur when people become preoccupied with a conflicting activity, not when they just make bad decisions. Falling asleep, looking away, trying to do two things at once or simply failing to pay proper attention lie at the root of most common mishaps. One website says, “Perhaps the main cause of accidents in traffic is a simple matter of not paying attention. In traffic, it is easy to become distracted, frustrated, and annoyed. Any of these can cause you to pay less attention than you should, often resulting in rear-end collisions when the vehicle in front of you stops. Running stop lights and stop signs is also a possibility if you are not paying attention.”

There were an estimated 6,356,000 car accidents in the US in 2000. There were about 3.2 million injuries and 41,821 people were killed in auto accidents in 2000 based on data collected by the Federal Highway Administration. These statistics show that the problem is serious. Driver education analysts have coined the phrase “defensive driving.” They stress the idea that entering the roadways must be considered dangerous business. Every driver must exercise due caution each time he or she gets behind the wheel.

Our spiritual life may be described as a journey or, in the modern vernacular, a drive. Many of these same problems can and do happen. Believers often set their spiritual lives on automatic pilot and momentarily turn their attention to alternative interests. Before they know it, an unexpected crash, boom, rip, crunch or thud takes place. The following notions usually lurk somewhere in the setup for a letdown. It is amazing how many spiritual applications run parallel to today’s road traffic.

Failure to stop within the assured clear distance ahead. This sticks in my mind because it’s why I got my first ticket. It was night, the roads were wet and I was about seventeen with zero respect for the slippery conditions. Slam! The message is: don’t follow others too closely. If they stop, you’ll get hurt.

Failure to yield the right-of-way. Submit yourself to God, obey them that have the rule over you and prefer your brother. When you ram your way ahead, prepare for the inevitable crash.

Driving under the influence. The Apostle Paul said that he would not be brought under the power of any foreign substance. (1 Corinthians 6:12) The intoxicating influence of this world blurs your vision and slows your reactions. You can’t stay on the straight and narrow while imbibing on the devil’s brew.

Failure to maintain control of your vehicle. Just as a three-thousand pound vehicle is lethal when out of control, you will not survive without staying under the power of the Holy Ghost. “Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.”

Failure to come to a complete stop at a clearly marked stop sign or red light. We navigate in a dangerous world. Scoffing at scriptural warnings and prohibitions will lead to certain disaster. When God says no, he intends to spare us from disastrous consequences.

Operating a motor vehicle that is not road-worthy. Driving a jalopy is unsafe and risky. Bald tires, defective lighting, bad alignment and rusted bodies spell trouble sooner or later. Don’t be a spiritual clunker. A consistent spiritual maintenance program, although tedious at times, keeps you on the road day after day. Pray daily, read the Word daily, attend church regularly. It’s letting the easily-neglected routines get away from you that wind up costing you.

Driving in unlawful areas. Laws forbid vehicles from entering private drives, constructions zones and lanes for authorized vehicles. In other words, don’t go there. In our journey with God, we have no business trafficking in the enemy’s territory. Stay out of depression zones, lanes of doubt and areas of forbidden activities. “Neither give place to the devil.”

Leaving the scene of an accident. Despite our best efforts to the contrary, accidents do happen. When you find yourself in the throes of defeat, the worst thing you can do is run away. You will feel humiliated, scared or angry, but stay there until you can drive away in dignity. There is guilt to be admitted, penalties assessed and fines levied. Go through the ordeal and get back on the road.

Few people make it through their entire spiritual life without mishaps. The longer you live for God, however, the more you will learn how to stay safe and arrive at your destination intact. Don’t follow others too closely, submit to God, stay sober, practice self-control, pay attention to warnings, drive in legal areas only and when you fail,you must face up to your problems and defeat them. God created you to succeed. Drive his way and you will.

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