Student driver.

Posted: May 1, 2016 in Uncategorized


Two words that strike fear in the heart of most rational motor vehicle operators!
Think about it, you are out for a drive when a neutral colored Honda with a “Student Driver” sign pulls up next to you at the intersection.
The driver looks very young and very nervous. He or she has the steering wheel in a death grip and they are staring straight ahead, afraid to blink.
They seem like they are a little fidgety.
Next to them is a driving instructor with a clipboard and a unibrow. The instructor looks like they really need a strong drink! You are gripped by anxiety for the safety and well-being of everyone around you.
Because of two words…
It’s a crazy, legally required rite of passage.
I think it should be a permanent condition.
I will explain, but first, I want you to think back.
Remember Drivers Ed?
What was it like for you?
Today there are so many opportunities to take Drivers Ed.
You can take it online or at a driver’s school.
In some states, you get credit for playing Grand Theft Auto.
When I was growing up, we only had one option and that was to take it at school. We had some classroom instruction, where we studied safe driving skills, “always have both hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2.”
And, we tried to memorize the state driver’s manual. It had super practical pointers like “Commercial farming vehicles always have the right of way on Wednesday afternoons”.
We also watched cautionary instructional films. They were low budget movies that were always about a teenager who had a tragic, momentary lapse in judgement, “Cindy doesn’t use her turn signal correctly and runs over a family of kittens” or “Kenny was listening to his radio too loud and caused a multi-car accident, don’t be like Kenny!” They were gory attempts to scare us safe.
THEN…we would hit the road!
Our long suffering drivers Ed teacher would sit beside us and steer us through the art of steering.
We would practice navigating through orange pylons in the parking lot.
I’m not proud to say that I have, singlehandedly, killed 17 pylons.
I was not a good driver.
Fortunately, the teacher had his own brake and he would sometimes yank the brake on me.
It was a jarring, humbling experience that probably saved my life.
We practiced parallel parking (I still can’t do it, but my wife has serious parallel parking skills!).
We hit the open dirt road and practiced until we achieved motoring mediocrity.
Drivers Ed set us up to take the driver’s test, get our permit and eventually our license.

I have a confession to make, Drivers Ed class was over thirty years ago. I’ve been a licensed driver ever since then, BUT, I’m STILL not a very good driver…oh it’s true! I have no depth perception or sense of direction. I get lost a lot! Sometimes daily. Sometimes even when I’ve go to places that I’ve been to many times.

I get lost.

The problem is that, even though I’m seriously directionally challenged, I’m still a dude and we HATE admitting that we are lost. We are usually too proud to ask for directions, like we will get shamed by Siri.
We end up getting more and more lost. That’s a problem!

I’m finding that when it comes to this crazy road trip we call life, I’m still a student driver.
I’m still trying to figure out how to steer (which road should I turn down?) and how often should I adjust my rear view mirror and look at where I’ve been.
In real life, just like the parking lot, parallel parking is really hard.
I get lost and I end up in dead ends of my own design.
Fortunately, life comes with a driver’s manual.
The Bible has a lot to say about traffic.

Here’s a road rule…
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

This is a response from God to a prayer that Solomon prayed for Israel, but I think it gives us some pretty good navigational tools too!!

“If my people” – we get licensed through relationship.
The driver’s test only has one question (considerably shorter than the state of North Carolina).
The one question is: who do YOU say Jesus is?
That’s it!
It’s the same question that Jesus asked Simon Peter and the other disciples in Luke 9:20 “who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah sent from God!” RIGHT ANSWER!! Jesus threw him the keys!
The right answer gets us the keys!
The right answer gets us into the family.

“Will humble themselves” – get humble, adjust your mirrors and see yourself for who you really are. It’s really all about attitude!
The secret to traction is to live like a student driver! If we think or act like we know everything, we will just spin our wheels. If we never admit that we are lost, we will never find our way!
live humble. Live like a student, always learning, always growing. We should look at every new day as a chance to discover something. Student drivers show a strong, whole hearted interest in life and everything it has to offer. They live in such a way that a dull moment is an unknown thing.

“Pray and seek God’s face” – look at the instructor, see what he has to say. Don’t be too proud to ask for directions.

“Turn from their wicked ways” – do a uturn! Sometimes we got to turn around and go the opposite way, away from the potholes and speed traps. Turn from the lost places. Sometimes God yanks the brake on you in order to keep you from crashing. It is a jarring, humbling experience meant to save our life.

“I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land” – the instructor gives us gas and grace to get down the road. Life becomes a restoration project.
An old car, in the right hands, regains it’s original beauty, so do we.

We need to live like student drivers.
We travel through life learning as we go.
Don’t be afraid to ask for directions.
Turn around when you need to.
Grab the keys.
Let the Master Mechanic restore you to your original beauty.
Enjoy the ride!

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