The creepiest thing happened on my way back from Olathe, KS, a few years ago.
I was cruising down the freeway, heading home, with the radio tuned to a rock station, when I looked right and saw a hearse for sale.
At that very moment, the lyrics to an AC/DC song I was listening to, screamed dramatically, "Highway to hell, highway to hell."
I wouldn't have thought much about it, except as I was driving to Olathe two days earlier, a resurfacing crew had placed a long stretch of delineator posts along the center highway, to keep traffic safely divided and away from workers.
I thought, "What if somebody strikes one of those and it flies up and hits my car?"
No sooner had I thought this, when a small rock flew off an approaching truck and struck my windshield. Was this and my encounter with the hearse merely coincidence? Or, was something from beyond trying to message me?
As for driving back after seeing the hearse, I didn't know whether to look for the nearest exit, or keep going. Would I even survive long enough to reach the next turnoff? Or, would taking the exit lead to all the bad stuff waiting to do me in?
I didn't want to be like Clark Griswold, in the hit comedy, "Vacation," who took the wrong exit in St. Louis and fell victim to the "plight" of the inner city.
Jesus said each of us is on one of either two roads: the straight and narrow leading to eternal life, or the broad road with a wide entrance leading to destruction. The first suggests the way traveled can be difficult, whereas the second requires hardly any effort at all.
Most people love wide roads, as opposed to to narrow ones, because these appear safer and the easiest to drive on. After all, there's more room to maneuver through traffic while breaking the speed limit, right?
Routine travelers see various signs and billboards erected to both sides of any freeway, advertising everything from lodging to amusement parks.
A great many go through life having taken such exits as "Liquors," "Casino," or "Showgirls." Yet the road Jesus mentioned as leading to eternal life, the one most people avoid, is posted with a message worthier of consideration: "One Way."
Hence, all of the people traveling the broad road with the wide entrance are headed in the wrong direction. They are racing against the grain of God's holiness: His standard of excellence for every-day living.
A motorist pulled over for running a stop sign protested to the arresting officer that he didn't see it. The patrolman thought, "How's this possible?"
Upon further investigation, he noticed that foliage hanging down from a nearby tree was obscuring the familiar letters S-T-O-P. With any degree of common sense, however, the driver should have known to stop at the busy intersection anyway.
Even along the broad road Jesus talked about, God has graciously posted His warning signs. Whether these are heeded or not is up to the motorist: the sinner who's on his way to hell.
In the still, small voice of a person's conscience is God's warning to turn back, to go the opposite direction. Yet His message can be obscured by weeds of wickedness, cultivated over time by the willful neglect of the soul.
The best advice is to keep moving forward with God, while ignoring the temptations that pop up along the way. Getting off a road that is difficult to traverse seems easiest, but it's those who endure to the end that God welcomes with open arms.
The safest road anybody can travel is the one that leads to eternal life, with Jesus superintending at the wheel.
-Mark Edmondson writes a monthly faith column for The Neosho Daily News.