It was summer, and I was travelling south to preach a camp meeting. I was driving on a long stretch of interstate highway with few major interchanges. I vaguely noticed the usual number of summer construction sites along the way. My familiarity with the road and the general monotony of interstate driving lulled me into a state of highway ‘hypnosis’. Suddenly, I was jarred out of my stupor! Heavy rumble strips did their job. I was alert and staring at a large yellow warning sign replete with flashing lights. The sign read – “PREPARE FOR SUDDEN STOP”. The bold warning helped me avoid disaster.
As a youth growing up in the hills of Eastern Kentucky, I was accustomed to seeing bold warning signs of a different kind. A noted evangelist had placed signs along many major thoroughfares in the hills. These signboards read – “PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD”. The words were taken scripture (Amos 4:12, KJV). I had also heard those words in sermons and realized they were a solemn warning to careless souls. They always succeeded in sending a shudder down my spine and cause me to ask myself if I was I prepared to meet my God.
The “PREPARE FOR SUDDEN STOP” highway signs are intended to alert drivers to potential physical danger. In like manner, the warning on the religious signboards were calculated to caution spiritual travelers. Although the signboards and sermons of my youth made me uncomfortable, I am thankful for God’s desire to help me avoid eternal disaster.
The Apostle Peter declares, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up (2 Peter 3:9-10, NKJV).
As we race down the highway of life, often in a haze, let us be thankful that our loving heavenly Father is ‘not willing’ to let us run into disaster without being forewarned. I want to be prepared for that ‘sudden stop’ at my last heart beat.
~ Brother Roy