COMPROMISING ROAD SAFETY WITH “TRAVELING MERCY, GOOD LUCK, SAFE JOURNEY, GOD BE WITH YOU…” PHRASES.
I write to express my complete displeasure and to caution with all urgency religious folks and the general public to distance themselves from statements that some preacher-men (so-called men of God) make ignorantly, pronouncements that completely oppose the natural order and flow of systems set by God and put in place by human ingenuity to ensure sanity and conformity in the flow of processes and, utterances that with all sincerity have an utmost negative influence on every effort that we are making to ensure road safety.
To my amazement a ‘pastor’ has recently made an ignorant and careless public statement that “…it is not about the one who knows driving that travels and comes back [safely, emphasis mine], rather, it’s about one whom God grants His mercy.”
As much as God’s grace and mercies richly abound, such statements tend to underscore the need to act responsibly to prove our faith. Driving is a conscious activity that requires a sober mind, carefulness and discipline to arrive safely and alive.
I am through this medium entreating all gospel ministers to desist from such pronouncements that do not promote prudence and road sense (the ability to behave safely when driving, walking, etc. on roads) as well as utterances that are not able to trigger safety in people’s thinking faculties so as to make them do the needful before travelling and, whilst on the journey.
Our piousness (religiousness) is so overwhelming to the extent that even things that require common sense applications are being exchanged by faith and vice-versa. It is not wrong to wish anybody travelling mercies but, we need to consider the repercurrsions on faith-based fanatics and the faithless.We need to consider the innocent ones who upon hearing anything from the pulpit by preachers or from their hero-worshipped pastors follow religiously their every dictate blindly to exercise that ‘false’ faith and, life does not work like that!
Road crashes happen to everybody irrespective of your faith. All that is required is knowledge of automobile driving and safe usage of the vehicle, discipline, and ensuring that your vehicle is roadworthy thereby, driving defensively! These among others are what guarantees safe driving or travel and not any of the claimants pronouncement mentioned above, which is falsehood, contradicts and blurs the vision of safety!
Have we not witnessed or heard of religious leaders being involved in a crash? Presumably, they had all the best wishes, poured ‘anointing oil’ on their cars and prayed behind the steering wheel before setting off, yet, out of negligence and false reliance on ‘good luck/safe journey’ they could not reach their destinations safely? That is not to say that God is incapable of doing anything impossible, but, God does not interfere with our affairs needlessly now.
According to the Deuterocanonical or the Apocryphal book, Sirach 8:15 “You should not travel with anyone who is reckless. It will cause you nothing but trouble. He will do any foolish thing he pleases, and you will die [or injured/maimed] with him.” Emphasis mine. This profound and commonsensical writing came from the Israelites who had evidently experienced God and, I must emphasise that they knew God more than anyone on this earth at that era, and had witnessed God’s grace and mercy empirically, never relied on these gifts carelessly, shallowly and ignorantly at the neglect of personal safety. Rather, they used God-given common sense to live.
The Bible says that ‘the prudent sees the evil and hides himself. But the naïve go, and are punished for it’ (Proverbs 22:3. NASB). Let us apply all wisdom and prudence when travelling or using the road and save ourselves from crashes.
Michael Osei Owusu
(Transport and Road Safety Consultant)
Mobile: 0245 885 225 / 0204 220 202
Email: [email protected]