My grandfather taught me to drive, and one of the first lessons he drilled into my mind as we traversed the lonely country highways in rural Nebraska was this: if your right-hand tires ever drop off the pavement into the gravel, slow down and gently steer the car back onto the roadway. He explained that it was safer to drive near the middle line than to risk the ditch on the right. Otherwise, you might overcorrect and collide with oncoming traffic, which is almost always fatal.

The words in Proverbs 4:26-27 remind me of my grandfather’s caution. Like my grandfather, the author of Proverbs calls us to caution. Stay within the lines! It’s a matter of life and death!

There have been many times in my youth and even in my adult years when I have not pondered my path. Something in the right ditch or the left was just so attractive. Surely I would survive a little swerve!

The fact that I am alive today, physically and spiritually, is a testimony to God’s love and care. It is clear, in hindsight, that my choice to swerve caused damage to me, to others, and to God’s reputation. Now, by his grace, I am more careful to ponder my path and stay straight. Just as my grandfather would have cautioned!

How about you? Are you playing fast and loose with the lines — the boundaries that God has given to keep you safe? Stay straight and stop swerving! Know from this voice of experience that the danger is real, and it will hurt.

Dear God, thank you for picking me up, even when I insisted on a collision course that was sure to damage me and others. Thank you that you were always there to set me back on your good road, heal me, and keep me straight! Amen.

Consider this: Next time you are on the road, view each of the road stripes as God’s boundaries. How does each reveal a spiritual truth, such as no passing on a curve, do not switch lanes, etc.?

Tags: Godly Influences Proverbs 4 A God-Focused Life focus