I was walking across the street toward downtown. In the middle of the road was a lump. As I got closer I could see it was a bolt. Then I realized it was not a bolt, but part of a blot and a nut. The broken end was jagged and gave me a shudder. It was a wheel lug stud. This is the part that sticks out of the wheel hub. It sticks through tire rim. Then a lug nut is screwed on and keeps the tire connected to the car.
I thought about the person driving around without this lug in place. I wondered if they knew or if they were oblivious. I wondered if it mattered. There are other several patterns for cars and trucks, but 4-6 seems to be standard. Missing one is missing alot. I worried about this missing lug enough to check my own wheels. It would be silly to be driving around without one on my own cars. All of mine were present and accounted for.
How quickly does a person need to respond to a missing safety nut? Can I just live with three? How about two? Will one work in a pinch? Can I use duct tape? How long would you let the situation degrade until you responded and fixed the underlying problem?
Lots of people in life are living on the ragged edge. They are abandoning the safety measures that protect themselves. We ignore the advice of our doctors. We don't get enough rest. We don't eat the right foods. We neglect our inner lives, hurrying before praying. All the while we hope that none of it catches up with us and the wheels don't fall off.
I picked up the bolt and carried it around a while. I eventually threw it in the trash. I'm trying not to forget its lessons.