Navigating the Road of Life

If you’ve driven around Longview lately, you may notice work being done on various roads in town. Typically, the crews are working at night, due to both traffic and heat, so you can notice a different between going home in the evening and what you find the next morning. On the side of town where we live, there was a lot of effort expended resurfacing the roads. Several layers of asphalt were laid down before they were finished and had it restriped. It was amusing, and sometimes just dangerous, however, when the lanes were not readily apparent during the process. 

Without lanes clearly marked, including turn lanes, people made up their own lanes! It was a challenge for awhile just driving down where the lane one was supposed to be in, as others would decide part of your lane should be their lane as well! Turn lanes were even worse. Turning from Gilmer onto Hawkins Parkway recently, one pickup, who should have gone straight, decided to make it a dual turn lane, except he wanted to merge our vehicles together in the process. Oblivious to how he was maneuvering, a tap of the horn was necessary to get him somewhat out of the turning process. If you ever have questioned how important lane striping is, I can attest with the word “very.”

Some make up the rules as they go. Are you in a lane that goes straight, but want to turn left? Just do it anyway, as the person actually in the turn lane will figure it out for you, right? In the left lane but decide you need to make a quick jump to the right, or vice versa? Go ahead, surely the person behind you, or next to you, will figure it out and stop in enough time you won’t collide with them. Decide at a stop light you need in another lane? Just back up! The person behind can back up too, if there’s room to do so. It’s becoming more commonplace to find police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles trying to take care of those who miscalculated, who had to pay the price for placing themselves in a situation where the law of physics couldn’t be averted. 

How people drive sometimes can be an illustration for how people live life. So many people want to make up the rules as they go along, and they become upset if doing so brings unexpected and irreversible consequences. Jesus words seems to sum it up best. “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it” (Matt. 7:13-14). Living only as one desires can bring confusion and major issues to life. Just because we want to do something doesn’t mean we should. God is love, and doesn’t desire any to perish, but there are parameters by which we are saved, by which we should live, for which we will give account (2 Cor. 5:10). If we don’t consider God’s will and live by it now, there will be disappoint and anguish for eternity. Praise God He has given us His word, that we can know the right way and follow it. The path is clearly marked if we will apply what He says.

There is authority in God’s word, as it proceeds from God who is authoritative (2 Tim. 3:16-17). To believe and obey brings life, to disobey brings condemnation (John 3:36). We must listen and live in His grace while there is still time to do so. The boundaries of God’s path are set by Him, not by us. To veer off course will take us to the wrong destination. More important than how you drive is how you live. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Phil. 4:4).

Robert Johnson