One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.
~ Proverbs 14:16
“Good grief!” Donna shrieked as she maneuvered our car out of the rig’s way. “That guy’s gonna kill someone!”
“I know,” I said. “I’ve never seen anyone drive a truck that fast with such a heavy load.”
Deanna, who was sitting in the back seat, agreed.
The three of us were on our way to a Beth Moore conference, excited to spend the weekend together and looking forward to time away from our busy lives. But the transfer truck had abruptly switched our focus from a relaxing retreat to one of trying to avoid a highway catastrophe. The truck driver was moving at break-neck speed, weaving in and out of traffic until we could no longer see him. Apparently the truck stopped a couple of times along the way because, once he’d passed us, he’d wind up bearing down on our car again miles down the road. What made it worse was the load he was carrying—reams of heavy sheets of plywood stacked high above the top of the truck. I’d never seen a trailer so loaded down. Since my dad was a truck driver, I knew if a truck loaded that heavy were to tilt even slightly, there would be no way for the driver to correct himself.
Just as we entered Atlanta he passed us again. The traffic had thickened by then and we cringed each time he came dangerously close to the cars around him. We were relieved when he finally disappeared into the winding roads and bridges ahead.
When we got close to our hotel, the traffic slowed to a crawl. It took us a while to finally get to our room. Once there, I switched on the TV. The news was on, showing a helicopter view of a tractor-trailer that had overturned off of one of the overpasses. It was the same green truck that had terrorized us our entire trip.
“Look at this!” I called to Deanna and Donna. “That’s the same truck we kept seeing on I-85.”
We crowded around the TV, listening to hear if any other vehicle was involved in the accident. As far as we could tell, the truck was the only casualty.
“The coroner has been called to the scene,” the reported stated.
My blood ran cold.
I couldn’t believe this truck driver, who’d used poor judgment in his driving and harassed us on the highway, was dead. If only we could have stopped him—told him the dangerous threat of the load he was carrying—or at least asked him to slow down. Didn’t he realize he was jeopardizing his life as well as the lives of others? What was he thinking?
I tried to rationalize why he would’ve been driving so foolishly. Maybe he was late getting his load to its destination. Maybe he was angry and just wanted to vent, taking it out on other drivers. Or, maybe he had a little boy at home praying he’d finally be able to make it to his Little League game. We will never know.
My thoughts turned to his devastated family. Why hadn’t he just slowed down?
It’s easy to make judgments from afar. I don’t know this man’s spiritual state, but I hope and pray he’d given his life to Christ.
Is there someone you know whose life is careening out of control? Maybe they’re carrying a heavy load of expectations, or pursuing success and money, not caring who gets run over on their way to the top. Do you know their spiritual state? It may be time to flag them down and share the love of Jesus Christ with them. Tell them Jesus loves us unconditionally, not because of our successes. It may be the most important news anyone has ever shared with them.
Or are you the one behind the steering wheel? Have you been driving hard to be all things to all people, loaded down with the unattainable goal of becoming the image of perfection? There’s no such thing as perfection. I’ve been there and have nothing to show for it but disappointment and poor health. We’re not God. We’re not in control. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. We can rest in the knowledge that He’s got this, even when life is busy and things are hard.
We may think we have no choice in how we live our lives. There’s so much to do in so little time. In reality, though, our recklessness could lead to death, both spiritually and physically. If you’ve lost your joy and feel like you have nothing left to give, choose to allow God to take the wheel and lead you wisely. Choose life.
Are you or someone you know navigating the road of life unwisely? Ask God for wisdom to follow His lead and rest in Him.