In the numbering scheme for the primary routes, east-west highways are assigned even numbers and increase from south to north; while north-south highways are assigned odd numbers and increase from west to east. This numbering system holds true even if the local direction of the route does not match the compass. Here in East Tennessee, for example, I-40 runs east-west; while I-75 runs north-south.
Additionally, auxiliary Interstate Highways are circumferential, radial, or spur highways that principally serve urban areas. One such example is I-285, which encircles my home town of Atlanta, Georgia.
One other significant feature of the Interstate Highway System is the provision of periodic Rest Areas. These sporadically placed sites, sometimes referred to as rest stops, travel plazas, or service areas, are public facilities, located adjacent to primary expressways, at which drivers and passengers can rest, eat, or refuel without exiting on to secondary roads.
If you have ever travelled on our nations’ interstates, then I am sure you know the value of such rest stops. Positioned every sixty or so miles apart, they can be a welcome site if one is in need of a break from driving. With restroom facilities, vending machines, places to picnic, as well as to walk around and stretch one’s legs, these rest areas are a valuable provision for those who travel the length and breadth of our nation.
I share this today because, in many respects, it is a metaphor for life. As we each travel life’s highway, we busy ourselves with getting from Point A to Point B. Along the way, we become hard-driven, pressing ever forward toward objectives in light of deadlines and payoffs. But, if we are not careful, we can overdo it. We can stay at the wheel too long; and in the process, exhaust ourselves. If we push ourselves too hard, we may wind up in trouble. At best, we may wind up in the dish. At worse, we may crash and burn.
And that is why periodic rest stops are important in life. Whether it is a simple weekend getaway or a full blown vacation, time off for a little rest and relaxation is a valuable component of the journey of life.
For my own part, my wife and I have just concluded a little time off for some much needed “R and R”. Already, I can tell the difference. Already, I feel refreshed and better prepared for the various tasks of life that still lay ahead of me. Already, I find myself eager to get back up onto life’s highway and move forward.
I hope you have had the opportunity to pull over and enjoy a little rest stop as well. If not, I hope you soon will. As a result, I hope you find yourself rested, renewed, and recharged. For, like me, you will most likely need it in the days to come.