If life is a journey, as most people say it is, then it is traveled on a very busy highway. If you have traveled on a highway, you will attest to how fast vehicles move on a highway, everyone speeding to get wherever they are going. If you have been in Germany, where some highways do not even have a speed limit, you will even depone more to how fast cars travel as though they are flying. For most people, we are thrilled by speed. Our inner selves smile when we overtake a car on the road. We feel challenged when a car overtakes us and if we are not behind the wheels, we even stretch our legs in an act depicting the pressing of the accelerator harder. In short, we love speed! After all, it enables us to get fast wherever we are going and save us some those precious minutes. Although, as we get older, the less likely it is for us to show such emotions as we deem them to be “childish.”
This behavior is not limited on those highways stretching on the countrysides. It’s something we have to live with day by day. We are amazed by stories of people who finished high school three years before the national average. We sometimes envy people who manage to get a degree, land a dream job and get a family by the age of 25 or is it 22? This is by no means a way of trying to restrain us from striving towards our goals and achieving them as soon as we can. We are to be diligent and hardworking in whatever work God has given us. Excellence and diligence should be our motto. Overtime, this translates to delivering on time, or before time in other cases. The point here is, we realize that just like on a highway, we are driving different cars. Our lives are unique (more unique than the cars on the highway by the way) and inherently precious in their own right. I do not possess much experience when it comes to driving but one thing is know is; if you are driving a Ford Fiesta, it is unwise to race against 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Knowing how fast your Fiesta can go gives you a peace of mind when you see that Jeep flying past you like a B747 (thats an aircraft for those who might not know it. Look it up, I love!) knowing that you can’t compete with it. As each car has its own specific speedometer indicating how fast it can go, so does each individual have there own speedometer and that should help us know how fast we can stir through life.
“I just went to check myself in the mirror, I didn’t see where my speedometer is” you say? The story below will help you figure it out.
**John buys a brand new car**
James: John, that is a very nice car you bought for yourself.
John: Thank you. Am actually going to visit my parents this afternoon. I will be driving my car for the first time, wanna join?
James: Most definitely. Let’s go!
**The journey starts off**
James: John, how fast can this car go?
John: Well, my parents live 100 miles from here. I want to get there in 30 mins. So lets go at 200 miles per hour.
What are the chances that these guys got in time to their destination or ended up in the hospital.
I know the story did not help you figure out where your speedometer is. Excuse my story telling skills [insert laughing emoji]. Kindly give me a few lines to get my point across.
Am just from searching the Oxford English dictionary for the word that best describes John from the story above. I was terribly unsuccessful, sorry. However, we can agree on one thing though (I guess), John is silly. Who determines how fast a car can go by looking at how far you want to go and when you need to get there. That gives you the speed required which (like in the case of the story) might not be optimal.
Guess what, if John was real and could talk to us, he would say “it takes one to know the other” because this is exactly what we do. We take our journey (life) and look at the end of it. Sometimes, the end is getting a job. So we divide the years between now and then and say, 6 years in primary school, another 6 years in high school and an extra 4 years in college. One month of job hunt then BOOM, you get your dream job. We subsequently place ourselves in this hypothetical “cars” as other people with the same speedometers. We praise those who move faster because they have superb driving skills and those who move slower are looked upon with a “what is wrong with you?” eye. We discard the fact that we are driving different cars with different speedometers.
“Where is my speedometer?” Am glad you asked. Sorry once more for taking a detour. I return to the short story one last time. John’s best response to Jame’s question could have been to get in his car and just look at his dashboard. The manufacturer of the car already put it there and it’s not John’s job to figure out for himself. Guess what? It is the same for us as well. Our “manufacturer” has fixed a speedometer for each one of us. How/why can He do this? Because He knows our specific purposes in our journeys as well as the end of the journey. Who is your manufacturer? Star dust? Coincidence? Chance? Primitive apes? Your self? Well I do not know. It is for you to figure out. I do not however my manufacturer. It is God the maker of the Heavens and Earth. It is God who knit me in my mother’s womb who designed my journey from beginning to end. Through His word and the guidance of the Holy spirit, I find that speedometer and can therefore stir this journey knowing what speed to move at. Does this mean I always move at the right speed all the time? Not at all. Just like on a highway, people more often than not drive above the designated speed limit. Nonetheless, just as there are speed limits and speed cameras on a highway, to cautions and remind us of how fast we should go, so are there reminders in our lives. For Christians at least, fellow Christians should be those reminders, keeping an eye on each other to make sure our brothers and sisters are moving at the right speed. God’s gives us the speedometer and the Holy Spirit together with other Christians help to keep us in check. All in all, the desire is to be better today than yesterday and better tomorrow than today.
Let’s get back to the highway. Was it the M25? It doesn’t matter anyway.
When driving on a highway, it is common to see cars packed on the sides of the highway. Some might be refueling and others might have cars that have broken down. As a fellow road user, the worst thing you can do is lower your window, stick out your head and make those funny faces that Tom makes in Tom and Jerry when they are chasing each other. The least you can do is to continue your journey as before.
In life, those cars that are broken down by the highway side are the broken people. At some point, we all come across people who are hurting and and broken. If you can not do any good to them, it would be wise to simply move on instead of making the situation more dissolute. And where and when you can offer help, pack your car by the side and do so. It is always appreciated.
I have been fortunate enough not to have been involved in an accident. But I have seen a few and the devastating effects they left. Apart from causing traffic jams which we all whine about, there is a deep feeling that is felt as you pass the scene of an accident. It is even worse when lives have been lost. It is unbearable. Wearing the best smile is strongly advised against at such times. It is a time of mourning and should be treated as such. Life also brings such days. When people we know, people we love are taken away from us. It can also be people we do not know at all. We are to mourn with those who are morning at such times.
Lastly, let us get off the highway for a minute. Let us just observe the people driving by.
Can you see that guy sleeping at the back of the white van?
That couple in the black car seem to be having a good conversation.
I wonder what is wrong with those guys, they seem to be frowning at each other.
What is the point of all this? Well, it is to help us see that a highway is not only there for the purpose of facilitating the movement from point A to B ( I almost said point X to Y, hahaha). It is on these highways that friendships are formed. On these highways, relationships are sharpened and rekindled. Great life lessons are learnt here and soft skills are birthed an nurtured. Why is this important?
A journey (life) can be boring at times and one might end up sleeping like the guy at the back of the white van. This is not to say sleeping is wrong. I respect sleep. The takeaway here is that we will be always surrounded by other people during our journey. They are there to make the journey enjoyable and bearable. They are there to help us get those skills and grow. They are there to help us mend our hearts when they have been broken to pieces. So build relationships, talk to people and drive a journey that you will be proud of when you reach your destination.
[As always, these are personal views and opinions expressed here]