This is an anonymous guest post written by a 21 year old student from Switzerland. Our author shares some lessons she learned while trying to pass her driver's license exam (who knew you could learn so much from a driver's exam) and shows us the spiritual parallel to those lessons. If you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
I am NOT a natural born driver. Never have been and never will be. I'm not one of those people who just gets into a car and "just knows” how it works. In fact, the first time I put my foot on a car pedal I was so anxious that my nose began to bleed.
Despite the effort it takes, there’s great value in trying to learn something new. Since learning is multiplied when shared, I decided to share some lessons I’ve learnt whilst learning to drive a car. These lessons can be applied on the road just as much as they can on your spiritual path.
So buckle up because here we go!
LESSON #1: "Where you look, there you’ll go”
Keep your eyes centered on the lane and you will continue to drive on the center of the lane. Look at the pink ice-cream truck coming from the reverse lane, crash into the pink ice-cream truck coming from the reverse lane.
Studies suggest up to 80% of all road crashes can be avoided with better vision skills. So this means that if I want to avoid a spiritual crash or even a life crash I need to alter what my vision is focused on.
If I focus on the other vehicles on the road, I will lose sight of where I’m heading and likely crash into them. Instead I should keep the other cars in my peripheral vision. I must be aware of where they are without allowing them to keep me distracted from where I’m heading.
God’s Word firmly instructs us not to compare ourselves to other ‘vehicles’ but stay focused on our own actions - as St. Paul says "But let each one examine HIS OWN work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another." (Galatians 6:4)
Furthermore, if I focus on obstacles then I’ll crash into them. Oh the number of sidewalks I’ve skimmed through by trying to gaze them away! St. Paul tells us to think about the true, the honorable, the just, the pure, the lovely and anything worthy of praise but nothing negative. (see Philippians 4:8)
“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.” (Proverbs 4:25)
Sounds obvious, but God created us with eyes in the front of our faces to see where we’re going. Not at the back of our heads to look behind. Can you imagine driving whilst only looking at the rear-view mirror? How could we expect to reach our destination? How can we pursue our goal of God’s promised prize?
"I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead" (Philippians 3:13)
LESSON #2: "Don’t think too much”
“You're a smart girl” (of course there had to be a but) “but you just think too much! You are a typical student” claimed my driving teacher. “You don’t just do it! You have to analyze and asses everything yourself, filter it through your own reasoning, then act.”
At that moment, I felt God talking to me loud and clear, in the same tone of frustration “why think so much, if I already thought for you?”
I must admit, what greater value can my own thinking bring if the Creator of the universe has already thought it through for me? He tells me to go right. “Go right now!” Do I obey? Do I trust that He’s the Master and I’m the student? Or do I try to first feel the need to assess the situation by myself and if it seems reasonable to my own understanding then I take the right turn that I’ve long been instructed to take?
In His loving patience Christ gives us the time to think it through ourselves. But what if my thinking comes at the price of missing the highway exit?
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5
It’s a simple metaphor but in the end it boils down to one virtue: humility. Do I have the humility to admit that my Teacher’s knowledge far exceeds my own? Do I have the humility to act without understanding?
LESSON #3: "Don’t hold on stiffly to the steering wheel”
At one point my driving teacher tried to help me out by placing his hand on the steering wheel. My hands froze stiff, I got tense and resisted his assistance. “See you don’t even let me come near the steering wheel!” I felt ashamed.
How many times have I resisted God’s assistance? The wheel can only be steered by one. Either I let go and let God take control or I stubbornly hold on denying the fact that I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m doing. God wants to drive me to amazing places, “lead me to green pastures”(Psalm 23:3) all that’s asked from me is to simply let Him take me there.
Teach me Lord to keep my vision focused on You, to not rely on my own thinking and to live a life of complete submission.
Now we've made it! We gotten safely through my lessons. What life lessons have you learnt while learning to drive?
p.s. And any tips on how to pass my license effectively and efficiently would also be appreciated :)