About one month ago I attended a men’s conference at one of my favorite outdoor camps, Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters. There are some good folks up there.
I am writing this because my wife noticed that I had started keeping the speed limit when I drove. When she asked I did not have a good answer for her. I still do not, but I have been thinking about it and wanted to share with her and with you some of my thoughts.
As I spent time away, reflecting and praying on a couple of decisions I had to make, something happened that I do not have a good explanation for. Nothing was said to make me think about the fact that most people speed when they drive. We talk about being good men, good fathers, good husbands. We talked about our devotional life with God. We talked about life and we ate good food. But, there was nothing said about the fact that most people in this country break the law every day. There was not any reference to this kind of behavior, but when I left the camp I was not speeding.
I like said, I am not sure why I am driving the speed limit consistently. I can not explain it, but what I know is the effect that it has had on my mind and heart. By obeying the speed limit I notice how many people are in a terrible hurry to get to the next place. I have noticed that people look at me like I’m the one that is strange. “Doesn’t he know that I have some place to be!” My fellow drivers just do not appear to understand why someone would NOT be in as big a hurry as them. It has been one of the most rewarding realities of my life. I was living a hurried life. And now, I do not have too.
Leaving five or ten minutes earlier is a better choice than trying to make up that five or ten minutes by driving recklessly. Most of our time on the road is less than an hour long. Driving five, ten or even fifteen miles an hour faster for that short a distance does not really improve driving time. What driving faster does is amplify the affects should (God forbid) an accident occur. This is a great website from Australia that helps validate this by providing stats on the effects of speeding on a possible accident. (I am pretty sure Australians have the same tendencies as we do. They are humans too.)
Here are some of the findings that they discovered. Driving over the speed limit:
- increases your chances of being involved in a crash
- means you have less time to react to avoid a crash
- takes longer to stop the vehicle to avoid a crash
- increases the severity of injury in a crash.
This is not the only interesting effect of keeping the speed limit. Keeping the speed limit has given me something to pray about as I drive. I find myself praying more as I drive. I just keeping thinking of all the people who genuinely believe that if they do not speed all their plans will fall apart. I have realized that I do not want this to be my life.
I have learned that keeping the speed limit not only makes good practical sense, it makes good spiritual sense. I want to live a consistent life before God. I am not where I need to be, but I hope that I am making progress.