Speed Bump Ahead

A few years ago(as you can check this post here), our daughter’s family lived in a home where the most direct route from our house to theirs was down a neighborhood street with the biggest speed bumps I’ve ever seen. I mean it. There was no way you were flying over these bad boys!!!

The choice was clear, slow your car down to a speed that was by all measures nearly indiscernible or go around the neighborhood entirely avoiding those massive bumps. Of course, on my way to visit family (and nearly there, no less) both options were viewed as nasty impediments to my progress.

Sadly, what I often failed to consider as the speed bumps loomed before me was their purpose in being there.

Speed bumps are meant to slow you down not stop you completely. Click To Tweet

2 Purposes of a Speed Bump


In this case, the speed bumps were in place to protect the residents of the neighborhood. Just like the speed bumps in school zones, parking lots, and construction areas, their purpose is to protect pedestrians by forcing drivers to slow down.


Another reason for speed bumps is to remind drivers of the speed limit and to slow them down. The purpose of these helpful installations is to help make drivers more aware of potential hazards.

Speed Bumps in the Christian Life

We all face them at one time or another. We’re cruising along enjoying the ride (or not paying any attention at all), and WHAM! Speed Bump!


  • Illness
  • Injury
  • Hospital Stay
  • Surgery
  • Rehab
  • Relationship Hiccup
  • and the list goes on…

In the moment, we are prone to see them as impediments. But speed bumps have purpose. They are there for our benefit.


Sometimes, speed bumps are placed in our lives for the protection of others. At times, God may find it necessary to force us to slow down and proceed carefully if we are on a collision course relationally. For our good, yes, but also for the protection of others.


No one knows us like our Heavenly Father. He knows our habits, our tendencies, our default even better than we do ourselves. And in His loving wisdom, sometimes He will install a speed bump across our path to remind us of the speed limit, slow us down, and help make us more aware of potential hazards on our path.

The Best Approach

When it comes to the physical speed bumps we encounter while driving, I’ve noticed there are many approaches to getting over them. I’ve witnessed the diagonal approach, the 2-wheels to the side of the bump technique, the pretend-it-isn’t-there-and-keep-going method, and the slow-your-speed-to-nearly-nonexistent approach. And I’ve wondered if there is really a “best practices” technique when it comes to this task.

So, I looked it up. According to Tom and Ray of Dear Car Talk, when it comes to getting over speed bumps the best approach is “the old-man driving at 3 mph technique.” This approach, they say, “does practically no damage. The springs and shocks compress gently and absorb the bump, and then they decompress.”

Other methods were discussed. Some dangerous and harmful. Some okay – if (and only if) they were employed together with “the old-man driving at 3 mph technique.”

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, the best technique is “the old-man driving at 3 mph technique!”

If this is the best approach to getting over physical speed bumps, doesn’t it make sense that it our best approach for getting over the speed bumps of life?


1 Thessalonians 5:18

Speed bumps are inevitable, and they are for our benefit. The next time you come upon one of life’s speed bumps, rather than bemoaning its presence, slow down, be aware, and thank God.

7 comments on “Speed Bump Ahead

  1. I don’t like speed bumps but they definitely serve their purpose well. I need to take your attitude for spiritual speed bumps as well!

  2. Thank you, Deborah, for these excellent reminders. God certainly does use the speed bumps of life to get our attention and grow us spiritually.


    Thank you for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

  3. Great reminder and metaphor, Deborah! Pinning and tweeting, my friend!

  4. I love this. laurensparks.net

  5. This is such a neat analogy and an enjoyable post. Thank you for sharing and for linking up with Grace and Truth this week!

  6. This was so cute and wise. Yes the old-man-driving-at-3-miles-an-hour is now my usual approach. Unless I forget they are there and wham. Love the perspective that speed-bumps are placed there for our protection and awareness. What a loving God we serve. He always has our good in mind.

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