George A. Bowers Sr.: Unmarked pavement is dangerous

George Bowers Sr.

Subcontractors for the Virginia Department of Transportation have been busy repaving several roads around the county, including a few that I travel daily to and from my home. Laying asphalt in 90 degree temperatures has to be rather brutal but the workers have been diligent nevertheless.

During such operations, it’s common to encounter any number of road signs, including “Flagman Ahead,” “Roadwork,” “Caution,” and “Unmarked Pavement.” This last sign communicates an important truth to any driver who will be maneuvering on the fresh roadway. Because the line truck has not yet come by to repaint the yellow stripes down the center of the road, it can be difficult to determine exactly where one is on the road surface, particularly at night. As a result, one can very easily drift into the oncoming lane especially around turns and over hills.

To help prevent such incidents, the workers will often put temporary yellow markers down the middle of the road to delineate the two lanes of opposite travel. Even though there is nothing to prevent a driver from crossing these temporary markers or painted lines, both provide appropriate guidance and have saved countless lives. In areas of heavy traffic and intense construction, concrete barriers are often erected to make it nearly impossible for an automobile to cross into the oncoming lane. If this happens, even accidentally, it could result in a fatal head-on collision.

So too, it is vitally important to have clear moral markers in life. It’s essential to know where and when we can participate in certain events and behaviors without causing problems for others or encountering danger ourselves. Clear boundaries, whether on the road, in sports, or in life can prevent a boat-load of pain. And failing to respect these markings can and does result in a multitude of collisions that injures both ourselves as well as those around us.

The highway workers who mark our roads are not out to spoil our fun or ruin our lives. Their work of providing clear demarcation is for our own well-being and safety. So too is that of the heavenly father as he marked out the roads of life. He has put certain warnings and guidelines in place that, like the painted lines, we can freely cross if we choose to, but not without causing significant pain to ourselves and others. The Ten Commandments of the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus and Paul in the New provide clear direction for our own benefit.

In the past many of these Biblical guidelines were incorporated into the laws of our country because our founders understood God’s divine wisdom in painting the lines where he did. Unfortunately, more and more of those distinguishing marks that guided past generations successfully through life are being removed, erased, or paved over by judges, governors, presidents, and legislatures. On top it, the pace of life has accelerated with many more opportunities to stray through drugs, pornography, Internet gambling and a host of other easily accessible temptations. As a result, the moral roadways of America are much more dangerous and deadly today and consequently we see the results of such boundary removals in the wrecked lives strewn along life’s paths.

The removal of these institutional lines has made it more important than ever for each person to look to the builder of life’s roadways for his much needed direction. By inviting Jesus into our hearts and by asking his Holy Spirit to guide our every step, we can travel through life more safely and reach an eternal destination beyond our dreams. His guidebook, the Bible, provides boundaries which protect everyone. While it won’t guarantee that no accidents will occur, it will make our journeys much less hazardous.

Blessed traveling, George

George Bowers Sr. is the pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock and the author of four books, including his latest book of poetry, “Wit and Wisdom of the Woods.” He can be reached at gabowers@shentel.net.