It's winter. Slow down!
Have you ever felt that gut gripping moment of entering a sharp turn on a wintry highway and losing control over your automobile? Yep! Me too! The same curve you negotiated in the summer at 60 miles an hour now must be engaged safely at 40 miles an hour (or slower). For some reason brains don't necessarily make the leap from July to January. It seems reasonable to assume those curves can't be that slippery. Besides, we think, I am a good driver and I can do just about anything with a car!
I can still remember my first experience with unsteerable vehicles. It was 1977 and I was on my way to visit my girl. I was excited to see her and was on my merry way. About two miles from my home....there it was....the curve. The snow covered beast lay hidden to my teenage brain. I entered the curve way too fast and the realization hit me to slow down. Well, I hit the brakes and there began my straight slide right toward a big old tree. Long story short, the car came to rest off the road and just about 18 inches short of the tree. I was stuck. The moral to that story was/is slow down well in advance of the curve. Thank you Captian Obvious!!
This time of year brings with it snow covered roads, salted roads, and water that is produced from the salt. During the day, all the snow and ice are turned to a lovely brine that makes our cars look like a science experiment gone wrong. At night the temps fall and what was liquid has now turned to 'black ice'. This phenomenum is insidious in that the 'black ice' either can't be seen right away, or we see it and our brains says, "Oh, water. No worries."
This morning I was reading in Proverbs 3 and came face to face with these thoughts:
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways
acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV)
And then again...
"My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life
for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not
stumble;..." (Proverbs 3:21-23b, NIV)
Everyday we face moments of decision. We have a God given gift of a brain that can reason and discern a multitude of scenarios and outcomes. Yet, we often bypass the internal fail-safes simply because we assume we know what we're doing and risky situations have no hold over us.
Today, let our first thoughts about a situation be filtered throught the mind of God. Let Him chart our paths, our decisions, and our words. Being self reliant is only going to work in a few situations and will do little to cover all possible scenarios. Trust God!
It is so easy to become acclimated in doing things without thinking. Life is forever changing and so we will always be required to change with it. This means we'll have to assess each new day, new challenge, and new opportunity. Seek God's direction, listen to God's instruction, and heed God's warnings so that your life will be fruitful.
The final instruction that I'll carry through this day is the thought in Proverbs 3:21. It tells us to "Preserve" sound judgment and discernment. This word 'preserve' seems to suggest an active caretaking of those two cognitive processes. I need to guard my brain; I need to scrutinize the situation before me, and then I must seek God's way forward. I'll ask myself, "What is the best possible way to glorify God in my actions?"
Today, drive carefully. Adjust your summer brain to the winter one you have in storage. In all your dealings, seek God's will and Trust Him!