Rumble Strips

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The US Interstate system and secondary roadways are lined with thousands of miles of “rumble strips”. These carved indentations in the asphalt and concrete are designed to produce a sharp rumbling noise to alert drivers they are drifting to the edge.
There are many reasons one would drift off the road. These may include drowsiness, carelessness, eating, being deep in thought, mobile device distractions, etc. There are many driver distractions that take the driver’s mind off the focus of navigating his vehicle in a careful and safe manner.
Needless to say, drifting off the road or onto the opposite lane is extremely dangerous. The roads today are spotted with the memorials of those who, for various reasons, did not respond to the rumble strips and slid off to their own wreckage and even to their death.
Rumble strips, also known as sleeper lines, alert strips, audible lines, the corduroy, growlers, and drift lines, are a road safety feature to alert inattentive drivers of potential danger, by causing a tactile vibration and audible rumbling transmitted through the wheels into the vehicle interior.
The Christian life has been compared to a roadway. Jesus gave the picture of entering the Christian life through a narrow gate which leads to the straight and narrow way. Song writers have depicted the Christian’s life as travelling a roadway where we encounter many and varied challenges.
Recently as I was driving down a roadway I drifted to the rumble strip. It instantly alerted me to danger and diligence to stay on the road! As I mused on what had just happened, and the frequency of which I have hit the rumble strips during my years of driving; I couldn’t help pondering what may have happened to me where it not for these road safety features. I am thankful for rumble strips.
Just like rumble strips aid us in staying on the pavement, God has also designed “road safety features” to aid Christians in staying on the straight and narrow way.
God’s Word is often compared to a road map to glory, and rightly so. But the Bible is more than a road map which simply outlines the route to heaven. It also defines and describes the dangers of drifting off the road. The Bible repeatedly warns of swerving from holiness and godly living. The Bible is not an object of good fortune which sits on the shelf and mysteriously guides the dwellers of that house. But rather, it must be taken from the shelf and opened and read again and again. It will only benefit as we read its pages of promises and allow its truth to infill our hearts and guide our lives. Only as we believe and obey its warnings will it serve as a road safety feature for us and our families.
The Holy Spirit indwells the heart of every believer and is a divine influence in our lives. Jesus promised that “he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” And in John 16:13 Jesus said “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…. and he will shew you things to come.” The Holy Spirit points out error in our thoughts and actions, and helps us understand the Word. Just as the rumble strip on the road is only effective as we respond to the sound, so the promptings of the Holy Spirit are only effective as we heed its voice.
In the Church of Jesus Christ and the Christian brotherhood are found many “road safety features.” The influence of faithful brothers and sisters in our lives today, as well as those gone before, help define the roadway, and also demonstrate everyday diligence to not drift. In the body of believers we find completeness in Christ since He is the Head of the body. Ephesians 4:15 says, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” And as we are part of this body, we are “fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth.”
Drifting happens when we gradually get off course. It can happen so slowly that we are unaware of what is taking place. Another danger is that we depend on the rumble strips to alert us and therefore we become careless drivers. Let us strive to stay in the center of the road. When we live on the edge and get in the habit of driving too close to God’s warnings signals, we too easily find ourselves drifting farther than we intended and we’ve crossed the line into sin.
As we travel the roadway of life, may we heed God’s “rumble strips” which are placed there by His mercy and love.