When I was in high school in the late 80’s, I always said that at the front of every traffic jam is a Chevy Chevette. I must now update that, since 99.9% of all Chevettes have rusted away. Today, the vehicles at the front of a traffic jam are Toyotas. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have been trapped on a two-lane road with a double yellow line behind someone in either a Prius Hybrid-thingy or a four-cylinder Camry doing at least 10 miles per hour under the speed limit. They have now replaced the Chevette as the cars I would most like to see in a demolition derby.
These people, many times, do not realize that they are backing things up behind them; they are simply merrily motoring away, getting 40-plus miles to the gallon. Some, however, see themselves as the fuel police, superior to those of us who have V8s and actually drive closer to the posted limits. They look in the mirror at you, thinking that they are saving the planet by making you go slower. “Just because the limit is 35 doesn’t mean I have to drive that fast” they say, the regenerative braking on their hybrid tossing their fuel mileage into the 60s or 70s.
Spritually speaking, a lot of people think they are going along just fine. Some even think they are properly holding others in line. The question is not whether we are doing what we think is right, but rather, are we doing what we’ve been instructed to do by God? Are we following His rules of the road, or are we making them up as we see fit?
Now, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, we get going faster than we should, too. It’s very easy to make that speedometer creep up when it suits us. I’ve been on I-85 plenty of times, where people mistake the road name for the speed limit. But again, are we following the parameters God has established for us?
If you’re a believer, God speaks to you–through His Word, prayer, circumstances, and other believers. He gives us the parameters for our lives–He paints the lines on the roads, puts up signs, erects guard rails, and even posts speed limits. But are we paying attention to any of that?
“Distracted driving” is a popular thing for politicos to complain about, and rightly so. I am out on the roads a lot–I average about 15,ooo miles a year around Greenvile county–and hardly a day goes by that I am not nearly run over by someone on their phone, lighting a cigarette, putting on makeup, reaching for a CD that fell on the floor, texting someone, etc. Less dangerous but more frustrating? Sitting through a green light because someone doing one or more of those things didn’t see the light and sat there. We do much better when we’re actually paying attention.
This applies spiritually as well. Jesus is the Way–the Road, if you will. We go through our days, all of which are gifts from God, without giving Him the slightest thought or recognition. We don’t spend time in His Word. We don’t pray, other than asking Him to bless our food or help us out of a jam. We distractedly bounce from one thing to the next, then we come to church and say we don’t get anything out of it.
If we don’t give God any time during the week, do we really think that a couple of hours on Sunday morning is going to change anything? We must be focused on Christ each day, placing our lives under His authority, seeking His will, dying to sin and our old selfish nature. When we take our eyes off Jesus, we become a distracted Christian who is a danger to him or herself and everyone else on the Road.
And the next time I get stuck behind someone in a Prius who is smoking a cigarette and talking on the cell phone, I’m just going to turn around and go home. At that point, I’ll definitely need some quality time with Jesus.