by Dr. Gary Fisher
Director, Church & Faith Relations
Baptist Health System
You’ve probably been helped by a rumble strip. You know, the series of grooved cuts in the pavement just off the right side of the road that rattles your car when you drift off the highway. The roar of the rumble strip is intended to jolt you awake, get your attention off your texting and back on the road, or generally break through your inattention to driving and warn you to pay attention.
Rumble strips save lives. Seventy percent of fatal single-car crashes are classified as ROR (run off road) accidents, as opposed to OR (on road) accidents. Highways that employ rumble strips see a decrease of these accidents that range from 29% to 41%, depending upon which study you read.
Anyone who drives very often can attest to the rush of adrenalin that comes when you drift off the right shoulder of the road and hit that noisy reminder that this is definitely not the way you want to go in your vehicle.
Japan has installed musical rumble strips on the highway leading to Mt. Fuji. At this point in the journey up that famous mountain, the tires on the vehicle begin to emit sounds that have a tune associated with them. Rumble strips can be entertaining as well as life-saving.
I’m convinced that most of the calamities we experience in life begin as “veer” mistakes. No one sets out to intentionally make a mess of things. We gradually drift from our intended path and find ourselves far from where we intended to be. Sometimes we crash, other times we just sail off into irrelevance and lose touch with our reason for being.
Don’t you wish we could come up with some rumble strips for our lives? The psalmist makes a wonderful suggestion to achieve that purpose for his life. His rumble strip, that reminder that his life was getting off course, was a prayer request made to God.
“Search me O God, and know my heart, try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24.