Five years ago, Sara and I attended a football game between Mississippi State and LSU. The game took place on a Saturday with a nighttime kick off at 9:00 pm. The game was over around 12:00 am with the Bulldogs losing to the Tigers when the MSU kicker missed a 53-yard field goal. Bummer!
We were living in McComb, MS at the time. I was working in my first worship ministry job at Central Baptist Church and was scheduled to lead worship the next morning. We had the road to ourselves at 1:00 am and began our three-hour drive home. After two hours on the road, I was getting tired, but I was chewing on sunflower seeds, our favorite road trip snack, to stay awake. I’ll never forget the moment I started to doze off from pure exhaustion. My eyes began to shut, when all of a sudden, the car began to shake, and we heard a loud noise. Sara and I were violently awakened by the rumble strips on the side of Interstate 55 near Crystal Springs, MS. My body was filled with adrenaline just knowing how close I was from going off the road. I was wide awake for the rest of the trip!!
From time to time, I reflect on this moment and all types of scenarios play out in my head. What if we had gone off the road? What if there had been a car next to us? God reminded me that the rumble was there for a reason and designed as a protective barrier for moments like mine. You see, it’s okay to hit the rumble strip. It is a warning signal to alert you before you before you are in danger.
Peter 5:8-9 states, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
I believe God desires for us to have rumble strips in our lives as well. We are called upon to be alert and ready for the devil to attack when we are least expecting him. Here are a few of my personal rumble strips:
- The Bible/Holy Spirit - My number one rumble strip because God tells us and shows us how we are to live through his Word. If decisions I make don’t line up with what God’s Word says, I know I’m headed for danger.
- My Wife - Sara knows me better than anyone. If she senses something is off, she is not afraid to ask me how I’m doing and hold me accountable to live a Christ honoring life. Before I was married, I had close friends who played a similar role.
- Personal Reflection - The last rumble strip in place comes from prayer and personal reflection. It is very important to me to take time every few weeks to reflect on decisions I’ve recently made and how I have been spending my time. I set goals for myself and hold myself accountable to a certain standard. It is last on the list because it isn’t as reliable as the others