31 December 2010

Driving Lessons with Dad (Part 1)

I think learning to drive is a rite of passage. And even if it doesn't become much of an experience for the young driver its definitely exciting for the parent. So there I was, well past the time when others got their license, learning to drive with my dad. I had this problem where I would overcompensate when I saw myself drifting toward the edge or middle of the road. Because I was focused no further than the front of the car I had a hard time staying in the middle of the road. The result was that we were swerving everywhere we went. I would drift toward the yellow line then I would adjust the wheel the other way--white line, yellow line, white line, yellow line. My dad bore this all with great patience before finally giving me some advice, "Look further down the road and you'll even out."

I tried it and it worked.

Sure, my dad helped me overcome the awkwardness of those first halting stops and overdone accelerations.

But I also walked away with so much more than the ability to drive.

I learned to look further down the road.

Is there instability in your life right now? Do you find yourself swerving to avoid one issue only to jerk the wheel back to narrowly miss another? Can I give you a bit of advice? Look further down the road and you'll even out. Are your parents driving you nuts? One day you'll really miss having them around. Are your kids pushing the limits of your patience? Try to imagine life without them. Does your job seem impossible to bear? Remember your retirement plan in Heaven.

Notice that gaining perspective doesn't fix the problem--it fixes your reaction to it. The baby still cries in the middle of the night, the bills still come when you have the least saved up and you can still lose your job without warning. But when you're not swerving you're steady. The more you look at the road of life together with God the better your responses to the twists and turns you face. You start to learn to trust His map, His moment by moment and turn by turn instructions and even what He has planned for the unpleasant surprises around the bend.  

This New Years it seems that looking back might help some; but looking forward helps so much more. Happy Driving in 2011!

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