I have teenager. I was diagnosed with it about eight years ago and I am told it should go into remission in about seven years. And while I am not spending a lot of time at the doctor’s office for it, I am spending a lot of time next to a person who is going through driver’s education.
I feel confident we are given times like these to ponder more deeply our short lives, our own behavior and our faith in God. So while I press an imaginary brake pedal (why doesn’t it work?) and grip the dashboard, I contemplate those biblical truths that can apply not only to our moral life but our driving life.
The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Maidens (Matthew 25 1-13):
In this parable Jesus uses the example of 5 wise maidens and 5 foolish maidens. The 5 wise maidens are prepared with extra oil for their lamps so they can see when the bridegroom comes. The 5
lazyfoolish maidens don’t bother with extra oil. When the bridegroom arrives they are shut out because they had to run to the Kwik Martoil dealers for more oil.
DRIVING LESSON: Don’t let your teen be a foolish maiden who runs out of gas on the highway or burns up the engine because she didn’t keep track of when to get an oil change. Teach them how much gas the gas tank holds and how often to get an oil change.
A Lamp is not Hidden (Luke 8:16):
No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, that those who enter may see the light.
DRIVING LESSON: Before driving anywhere, teach your teen how to manually turn the headlights on and off (including the brights), how intermittent windshield wipers work and how to spray wiper fluid. New-ish cars have an automatic setting so you don’t even have to fiddle with your lights anymore if you don’t want to. This is a nice feature, but problematic if you do need to fiddle with them and never bothered to learn. Make sure your teen won’t be fumbling for the brights on a dark county road in a rainstorm. If your teen knows how the lights and wipers work before they need them, oncoming cars will not say “truly I do not
Jesus the True Vine (John 15:5):
Jesus says, I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing.
DRIVING LESSON: Basically always wear your seatbelt. The seatbelt is the vine, if you use the vine you will have a better chance of remaining in the car if there is a collision. Seriously, remain with the vine.
Judging Others (Luke 6:37):
Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven.
DRIVING LESSON: Driving to school the other day a car whizzed by us way above the 25 mph limit. We watched as he cut in front of other cars and generally made an ass out of himself. As we approached the same red light that he was also sitting at, I took the time to point out to my daughter that despite all his reckless driving he was in the same spot we were – waiting for the traffic light to turn green. I felt pretty smug about being able to make this point until Johnny Racecar driver turned left on the red light and took off. Okay. We decided not to get angry and not to judge him. We pretended his wife was in labor and he was racing to the hospital. The reality is some people are just going to be jerks when they drive. Others won’t even realize what they are doing is jerky. Reel in the road rage and move on.
Good Measure (Luke 6:38):
Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.
DRIVING LESSON: Follow the car in front of you at a safe distance. Measure your distance by picking a fixed object on the side of the road. Count to three using “one thousand one, one thousand two…” If you get to three before passing the fixed object then you are three seconds behind the car in front of you. This is fine if you are going between 35-55 mph in perfect driving conditions. Not so fine if it is snowing and icy and you are going 70 mph. So give the car in front of you their measure of space and hopefully the one behind you will do the same.
Creating some good life habits and driving habits can be achieved by not being foolish, letting your light shine, sticking with vine, not judging others and being generous. Teaching someone to drive is no laughing matter (seriously, it sucks) but I hope you enjoyed some of my driving observations and I would love to read about any you have. Leave them in the comments below.