We have entered a new area of training with our older children. Driving!! I can feel my heart beat faster just by typing the word! Teaching them to drive has been…let’s just say….there is not a GPS to guide you through the anxiety, bumps, swerves, near misses, tears and yes, even those wide turns (overly wide turns… eh hem). Sometimes I cannot believe we arrive at our destination unscathed! I’ve always known what the handles on the ceiling of my car were for….really I did. With that being said, never in my mind did actually using them surface! That was until several months ago when one of those wide turns came without the aid of braking. I’ve never grabbed something so fast with all my might as though it could save me from the impending doom ahead. Needless to say, it has become my friend over the past few months. I just hope it will remain intact until my kids carry out the necessary training with responsible driver as their destination.
I could tell you stories as any parent could when it comes to teaching their kids how to drive. There are lots of funnies not to mention horrors and accidents as we share our experiences. I’m sure we could all attest to the hardships and tears too as we take on more of a passenger role with them (backseat in my case). Yes, sequestered to the back seat and made promise not to say a word! How embarrassing! But it does not always work…the not saying a word part that is. Sometimes I have to speak up, shout even, so I can make sure they hear the imminent danger ahead from my partial view.
We had one of those instances recently. It was raining pretty hard and it was the first time for this child to drive in these conditions. Everything was going fine until the realization our speed was too high. We began hydroplaning into oncoming traffic! That was hiccup number one. The second one came when a semi-truck proceeded towards us. The natural thing for them to do is move closer to the shoulder side of the road. There are not shoulders on the country road we travel but rather a small lip and then the ditch. It is hard to manage a vehicle when going over this lip as it makes the car harder to control when easing back in the lane. If you do not know how to correct this situation, it can lead to an accident. Needless to say, in efforts to teach and train, emotion got the best of both of us. We argued about what was the right thing to do and then silence filled the car for the remaining drive.
Heading home, my heart was angry. I was mad this child did not want my training, nor listen to what I was saying. I was mad at being blamed for what just happened. I after all was the passenger! Both instances were textbook scenarios given in the study guide in preparation for the test. I was also mad at myself for completely losing it and the distance felt between me and my child.
As my emotions began to quiet down, I felt the Lord press upon my heart the following questions.
“When have you become over-confident in your abilities and acted as though you did not value My training?”
“When have you noticed road signs warning you of troubles ahead only to bypass me, your Shepherd?”
“Did you not heed My training in My written word?”
“Did you not hear My voice?”
“Have you not blamed Me, your Father, for what has happened?”
“Have you not been angry at Me, your Teacher, when things do not go as you imagined or planned?”
We are all drivers in training preparing for our final stop. The Lord is the Instructor guiding and directing our lives. Life is a lot like driving as it is a non-stop training course until we arrive at our destination. In this life, there are times we are permitted behind the wheel. Yet there are times we are ordered to the backseat. The times we are behind the wheel are not always smooth sailing. We are guaranteed to reach road construction or car trouble at one point or another. I’m learning during these times He asks us to wait on Him as He prepares the road ahead of us. The times in the backseat we are not going to necessarily like either. It distorts our view and we don’t have a clear picture of what lies ahead. We may scream and shout in utter dismay; but its in these times He reminds us of WHO is in control and to trust Him.
Driving and life?! Ha! Who would have thought that though so different they have many similarities. We all start at one point to arrive at another! Unfortunately, there are many twists, hills, valleys, construction and rainstorms to go through in between. Grab the Bar that is Jesus to see you through the storms and construction of this life. Focus on Him! He is your GPS! Don’t take your eye off the Destination who is Christ; especially when you encounter those wide non-braking turns!