Have you ever dozed off at the wheel? During college it happened to me with much more frequency than I like to admit, and it terrified me. Not enough to miss a party and get more sleep (don’t get crazy), but enough to wake me up in the moment. Sometimes rumble strips were my saving grace. I tried to look up whether or not every state in the US employs rumble strips but had trouble nailing that down. What I did find? As of 2009, 35 states had installed them. Hey, I am nothing if not current.
In case you don’t have rumble strips where you are, they are a series of raised strips running along the outside lanes on a road or highway that change the sound a vehicle’s tires make. The noise alerts the driver if they drift off of the road and hopefully prevents accidents. Whether one falls asleep or is simply not paying close attention, those rumble strips wake up a driver quickly.
What rumble strips to you have in your life? Those people or things that help you stay on the right path and alert you to impending danger?
1. God’s Word
The holy scriptures are the plumb line I measure everything else by. Maintaining the discipline of daily time in God’s guide book for us is definitely the number one way I stave off the drift. Reading the bible, studying commentary and original language, praying the verses and listening to our church’s Sunday morning teaching are all ways I immerse myself in the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). I still mess up daily, but I cannot imagine where I would be without God speaking to me through His Word.
Being accountable to another person – be it a spouse, friends, bible study group, a counselor or minister, or all of these – keeps me honest. Sharing what I struggle with not only takes the power out of my secrets, but strengthens and deepens my community. And knowing that someone I love and respect could check in with me on my “thing” at any time definitely plays into how I choose to engage or not engage that “thing”.
3. Leaving Room for the Holy Spirit
John 14:26 tells us, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” But how can the Spirit remind us of what we have learned in the scriptures if we aren’t listening? As difficult as it may be in our culture, I have to slow down enough and have some quiet space to hear from God’s Holy Spirit. Filling every minute with noise and activity will drown out His voice. Our triune God is a gentleman and won’t force Himself on us. We must intentionally invite Him with a hospitable heart and mind.
In addition, I shouldn’t grieve or quench the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4 gives us a list of things that do just that, including but not limited to, living like unbelievers, lying, stealing, unforgiveness and sexual immorality. We all mess up. It’s inevitable, but its living self-focused instead of God focused that steers us off course. Continuing in unconfessed sin will muffle the guidance of the Holy Spirit more and more the longer it goes on.
The challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to thank God for the rumble strips in your life. And if you can’t think of any, establish some. Borrow mine or pray and listen for the Holy Spirit’s guidance on what you should do to keep yourself on the right road.
By the way, after I started writing this I thought of how the newer makes and models of cars actually have built in alarms for when we veer out of our lane. So rumble strips could become obsolete. As I said earlier, I’m nothing if not current. But we can choose to disable those alarms if we want. That could be dangerous. As it would be for me to drive through life without God’s Word, accountability and the Holy Spirit.
And now for this week’s featured post from the link up!
I thoroughly enjoyed Learning to Develop Regular Rhythms of Fasting by Sarah J. Callen. I had never thought about fasting as a discipline that could be practiced in community, but now I can’t stop thinking about it!
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