Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Defensive driving involves operating your vehicle in a way in which you can more easily anticipate hazards and the actions of others on the road. The defensive driving rules are:
1) Know the Rules
2) Pay Attention
3) Stay Out of Blind Spots
4) Communicate Clearly
5) Keep Safe Distances
6) Watch Changing Road Conditions
7) Maintain my Vehicle
If I’m not careful when I’m driving, I can forget some of these basic rules. I have to concentrate and focus in order to keep the roads safer for me and everyone around me. I need to pay attention to the road ahead while glancing to the side and behind me. I can’t look too long to the side or behind or at distractions in the car. I not only need to pay attention to where my own car is but I also have to anticipate the possibility of another driver doing the wrong thing and respond as quickly as I can. I need to use my turn signals and let others know what my car is doing. Lastly, I need to keep my vehicle maintained so that it is less likely to stall and create a road hazard.
In the same way, defensive living means caring for both yourself and others in this life.
Know the Rules
In life, I also would be wise to follow the rules. The rules were inspired by God and I need to read some of them every day.
I need to pay attention and focus on the path ahead of me and the God who leads me instead of getting too caught up with people to the side of me. I shouldn’t compare myself to them. I should glance at those other people from time to time though so that I will know when someone in my path needs help. Being willing to help others along the path of life is part of the purpose in this life.
Stay Out of Blind Spots
I need to be careful about other people’s blind spots. Everyone has insecurities and weaknesses. I should be careful not to rub salt in those wounds. On the contrary, I should do what I can to help heal those wounds so they don’t hurt any more.
I need to also communicate as much as possible with those others. Communication leads to teamwork and that is another thing that is involved in living purposefully.
Keep Safe Distances
However, I also need to find a balance between good communication with people and keeping a safe distance from others. There really is an evil influence in the world and people don’t always act like God created them to act.
Watch Changing Road Conditions
I also need to watch for changes on my life’s path. God wouldn’t want me to do the same things over and over again. He would want me to learn and grow and keep an eye out for new opportunities. I’m not the same person I was ten years ago, so he might have a new assignment for me.
Maintain my Vehicle
Finally, I need to look after my own health so that I am able to do things that help others. If I’m sick, I’m limited to what I can do.
You really can learn spiritual lessons from the road. I used to get upset and stressed when people would barge in front of me on the road without so much as a turn signal or a wave. But I’ve found that the more I leave room for those other cars, even the rude ones, the less stressed I become. Less stress on the road means a commute that feels shorter.
My child, never forget the things I have taught you.
Store my commands in your heart.
If you do this, you will live many years,
and your life will be satisfying.
Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!
Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.
Then you will find favor with both God and people,
and you will earn a good reputation (Proverbs 3:1-4).
Jennifer Heeren has always loved to write. For more than a decade, she has enjoyed writing encouraging blog messages. She loves to write things that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full. She regularly contributes to Crosswalk.com. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. Visit her at www.jenniferheeren.com.
Publication date: November 20, 2014