Have you ever considered just how dangerous driving is?
Don’t get me wrong: I love to drive. I’m actually a bit of a gear-head. I’m one of the few of my generation who drives stick. I once changed the alternator on my mom’s Lincoln. I dream of classic American muscle cars.
Plus, there’s nothing more relaxing to me than a long drive. Windows rolled down, radio up, sunshine streaming in, and nowhere to go but forward.
But being on the open road is ridiculously dangerous.
Piloting a couple thousand pounds of metal and explosives is wild enough. Racing that hunk of shrapnel at freeway speeds is another. And while many companies and agencies play up their positive safety ratings, most of them use test collisions involving speeds of just 40 miles per hour. Even with regulatory measures like seat belts and airbags, over 37,000 Americans die each year from collisions -- the leading cause of death for healthy adults.
That’s just pure vehicle statistics. What if we factor in human error?
Take me, as an individual. I learned the functionality of automobiles, was taught the rules of the road, and was trained by my parents with near-perfect records on how to drive safely. But I’m entirely human. I make mistakes. And even a short few seconds of distraction on the road -- sneezing, adjusting the radio, searching for that next turn -- could cause me to end up off the side of the road, or worse.
On top of that, every driver I see has that same opportunity for failure. I encounter thousands of other cars during the week. If any one of their drivers were to make a mistake at the wrong time, we could all be dead in the blink of an eye.
With all of these imminent perils, how can one knowingly get behind the wheel of a car?
Just like in every other aspect of life, there are always risks. We barter those risks with their potential rewards. For example, driving a car to work is faster and more enjoyable for me than taking my bike or the bus. We take precautions -- by buckling up and driving defensively -- and try to protect ourselves from harm by others.
But the best thing I do before I back out of the driveway every morning?
I pray for safety.
Sometimes, that’s all we can do. God gives us many great opportunities in life, and we have to decide what road to take, even when we don’t know what’s coming. We can have faith that our prayers for safety will be answered. It says in John 15:7, “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.”
Of course, even if you pray every time you get behind the wheel, you may still be involved in a road collision. That’s how life works. But God has a plan for us, even in the bad times, and He promises in Romans 8:28 that “all things work together for the good of those who love God.” Not just the good things, either, but ALL the things!
Next time you take your car to the store, or go on a road trip, or even walk down the street, remember that God is in control. You’re not the driver in your life -- He is. Joshua 1:9 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
So say a prayer, take that chance, and then sit back and enjoy the ride.
Musically and faithfully yours,
Worship & Media Director
Riviera Baptist Church