On a recent trip down to Oklahoma with my friend Krishnan (who is here in the States short term from India), I noticed how impressed he was at our speed:
"120 kilometers per hour! And it doesn’t even feel like we’re moving!"
He assured me we could never go that fast in India.
"Why? Do they not have highways nice and wide like this?"
"No, they do have good roads these days… at least between major cities like Chennai and Bangalore."
"Then why can’t you go fast? Cars there not GO this fast?" The three wheeled auto-rickshaws I’ve seen pictures of aren’t overly inspiring.
"No, no, it’s not like that. The problem is you have to watch out for everyone else on the road!"
"And who else would be on a major highway, besides cars?"
"Well, like… people… and bullock carts, stuff like that."
Wow. But keep in mind automobile penetration is fairly low in India. Only 13 million cars there between 1 billion people. In comparison, America has some 240 million cars for a third the population. Of course, no telling how many motor scooters and auto-rickshaws are in India!
Now this may be a stretch, but here is my deeper application: What do we have in our own lives that’s slowing us down? As believers, we are called to walk a narrow path. At the best of times it can seem slow and uphill, but we have this tendency to gather baggage that drags us down to a crawl… even causing us to backslide at times.
What does this baggage look like? Here are some suggestions I thought of: Time wasting habits and activities, lack of vision, general apathy, self-deception, commitments to programs vs. relationships, stuff we keep but don’t need, unresolved hurts in our past, bitterness, holding grudges, selfishness, obstinacy, greed, envy, arrogance, folly, self-righteousness, pride and guilt – to name a few!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…” (Hebrews 12:1)