Driving lesson

A driving lesson | Opinion

When I leave the house in the morning, I get in my car. I turn the crank, put on my seatbelt and adjust the seat. Air conditioning and heating are preset. Everything seems ready, but the car is not moving yet.

I have three choices. I can put the car in reverse, park it in neutral or start it. Where I place the shifter will determine where I go.

If I put my gear lever in neutral, the car won’t move. It will just stay there. I can press my foot on the accelerator, but that just revs the engine. As long as the shift is in neutral, I’ll just sit there.

Sitting is a choice. Sitting might be safe, but it doesn’t solve any situation and doesn’t get me anywhere. Sitting can be comfortable, but it leads to complacency.

This is a problem that many churches face – they simply live in neutral. They don’t want to back down, but they don’t want to take the risk of moving forward either. Neutral is good for a short time, but if you stay in neutral you will run out of gas!

The reverse is good to use briefly. I have to get out of my carport. I have to be careful not to go too far or I’ll be in my neighbor’s bushes. There is a specific distance I can go in reverse to move forward.

To get to my office, I have to shift gears to drive, which drives my car forward. As I start to move forward, I have to figure out how fast I need to go. Different roads require different speeds. I’m only doing 25 miles an hour in my neighborhood. I have friends who have blue lights on their cars which helps me remember the importance of staying at 25. Then I join Taylor Road which allows me to go up to 50 miles at the time. I then turn on I-85 and I can go 70 miles per hour.

The roads we travel each day determine the speed to use. You get in trouble on the freeway if you only go 25 or decide to go 95. You really get in trouble in my neighborhood if you try to go 95. In life, every days, we have to choose the right roads and the right speeds.

A good way to get up each morning is to decide where God wants you to go and what roads you will take. Sometimes you have to stay neutral to make a decision. Sometimes you have to back up to put yourself in a better position to move forward. Eventually, I have to drive over and move on. God has a good destination for each of us every day!

Paul writes, “Whatever we have to go through now is nothing compared to the glorious future God has planned for us. All of creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming to themselves. (Romans 8:19 Phillips)

So get up each day, stand on your tiptoes, and look forward to the wonderful future that God has planned for you. As God said to Israel, “Make plenty of ground for your tents. Make your tents big and spread out! See big! Use lots of rope! Drive the tent pegs deep. Do not hold back. You won’t miss it. (Isaiah 54:2 Message)

It’s time to drive.