Our 16-year-old daughter is learning to drive. She has her beginner’s permit, has taken the classroom part of Driver’s Ed, and will have her first in-car driving lesson with an instructor next month.
In the meantime, she drives me around in our car whenever she has a chance. And let me say up front that she’s going to be a fine driver.
But just like with any new skill, learning to drive takes practice.
One morning last week, she was driving to school. I was in the passenger’s seat, giving occasional instructions. And I will say that I truly make an effort to speak calmly as I offer advice from my side of the car.
We were riding in the right lane, with two lanes of cars to our left. I’d already mentioned to her the possibility that cars in front of us might be turning into a row of businesses we were passing. I wanted her to
I just didn’t feel like we were slowing down at quite the rate we needed to. In my mind, we were approaching that SUV’s bumper very quickly. I said, “Brake,” but it didn’t seem to have much effect. I repeated “Brake” a little louder, and then said it a third time, even louder.
She did brake at that point, and then calmly assured me she’d had it under control the whole time. (She also asked me why I’d gotten louder each time, and what I expected the increase in volume to accomplish!)
While she’s doing well overall, she’s still learning. And if she wants to avoid an accident, she’ll listen to what I’m saying. (And
As I was thinking about that experience later in the day, I realized that there’s a spiritual application for us.
As we navigate our lives, God wants to teach us and guide us. He wants to help us avoid “accidents,” and learn to stay focused on where we need to go.
Yet we have to be willing to listen. We can try getting by on our own, but there’s a good chance we’ll take a wrong turn or get involved in something we should have avoided.
Things will go much more smoothly for us if we’re listening to that first quiet instruction He gives us. And while we may think we know what’s best, we have to learn to trust that He will lead us in the way He wants us to go.
“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” ~Psalm 32:8
If my daughter would have had the radio cranked up, she likely wouldn’t have even heard me tell her what to do. In the same way, we won’t be able to hear God if we’re tuned in
“And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” ~Isaiah 30:21
We’re going to hear God speak to us through His Word and His Holy Spirit. We can choose to ignore His instruction, but it might not end well. We can also hurry ahead of Him, but it’s best if we wait on His leading.
“Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.” ~Psalm 25:4,5
The more our daughter drives, the more experienced she’ll become, and the better decisions she will make when she gets behind the wheel of the car. In the same way, the more we make choices that are pleasing to God, the more we learn to respond to situations properly and grow in our faith and in trusting God.
My goal with our daughter is to make her a good driver. God wants to make us successful Christ followers. Let’s listen to and follow His instructions in the same way that I want my daughter to do that for me when she’s in the driver’s seat.