"Only a fool breaks the two second rule" my driving instructor used to tell me.
"How do I know if there is two seconds between myself and the car in front of me", I queried!
"Pick a fixture on the side of the road (such as a bridge or telephone box) and allow a gap of two seconds between you and the rear of the car in front. When the car in front of you passes the bridge or whatever the fixture is, say aloud only a fool breaks the two second rule. If you pass the fixture before you finish saying the sentence then you?re driving too close".
"Obviously, the faster the speed you?re driving the more you increase the distance" he said.
"Leaving a safe breaking distance decreases the likelihood of you crashing into car in front if it should break suddenly", he added.
It's been a long time since he told me that. Since then, I've often found myself driving along on the motorway at the suggested speed and an impatient driver speeds right up behind me overtakes at an unsafe distance and zooms right off way above the suggested spend limit. The driver unaware of the upcoming speed camera then suddenly slams on his break to avoid being snapped.
Not only does the driver put his own life in danger, he also endangers the life of other road users.
I don't know why that driver was driving at that dangerous speed but it could be for several reasons which could include, being late for an appointment; trying to arrive early for an appointment; or perhaps he just couldn't be bothered to comply with the suggested speed limit on that road.
The setting of speed limits on streets and highways is a technical science backed by many years of research and experience on what works and doesn't work for the safety and benefit of the motorist. They guide inexperienced drivers away from grossly exceeding safe speeds; they warn drivers of expected hazard density. Hazards can include windy roads, bends and bad weather such as storms.
The Road of Salvation
Once we become saved we?re drivers traveling on the road of salvation. As Christians we also need speed limits to warn us of expected hazards that we will inevitably come across such as fear, doubt, temptation, discouragement.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 (NIV)
Yes, this is Jesus himself telling us that as we travel that road of salvation there will be hazards. Challenges might speed up behind you unexpectedly but take heart, Jesus Christ has overcome on your behalf. As the driver adapts by altering their speed to different potential hazards, you also need to adapt to the times. Jesus says to take heart because he has overcome on your behalf. The only way you can take heart is by reading the word of God, praying more fervently and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you through your journey.
A driver has a speedometer in his car telling him how far he?s driving and he also has speed signs on the road suggesting safe driving limits for that road.
You as a believer also have an indwelling speedometer telling you how far or slow you?re going and that is the Holy Spirit.
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26 (NIV)
The Holy Spirit is living inside you and will empower you, guide you, and enable you to reach that destination in Jesus? name.
The word of God is the speed signs on the road to help you arrive at your destination.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
The psalmist recognized the importance of the word of God in shining a Light on his path. He knew without this light he had no hope of overcoming the hazards of life. You also have this light available to you and no longer have to travel in darkness.
Sadly many Christians only use it when they can be bothered.
Like the driver on the road we also need to alter our breaking distances according to the
Conditions we?re traveling. Sometimes we need to give ourselves more time to arrive at our destination because of storms, bends on the roads and other hazards that can fatally end our journey.
We need to adopt a patient and confident attitude knowing that God desires for us to arrive at our destination safely.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
As the speedometer makes the driver aware of his speed and enables him to match his speed to the speed signs, so also the Holy Spirit will teach you all things and enable you to align your ways with the word of God and his desired purpose for your life.
May you continue to travel the road of salvation safely in Jesus? Name.