Daddy. Teach Me To Drive (Oct 25, 2015)
Among my parental memories lie vivid pictures of Amy’s first driving lessons. A large empty parking lot at night not far from our home, and my back muscles taking a beating from the jumps, jerks, and quick stops. Ah, but the car and both of us survived, and the lessons did well. My own lessons? Well, the summer of my 14th birthday, I worked on a construction crew ran by four brothers, all of whom had been my Mom’s students in middle school years before. Rough and loud, these guys gave me every dirty, messy job, they could find. I also got to be their chauffeur driving a couple of old, roughed up pickup trucks. I loved that job. No permit, no permission from my parents, it was great! I sat on an old pillow and stretched to reach the clutch, brake and gas pedal. The next summer, my folks were quite surprised, I seemed to “have a knack” for driving. They didn’t get to see a couple of birch trees with less bark and two fenders with big dents on the old pickups. Those good ol’ boys kept quiet though; even for their size, they all were afraid of my Mom!
But to our point: the Bible, if read seriously, presents itself like that old steering wheel on the pickups of the Collins boys. Those 750,000 words, written by 40 folks over 1500 years, yet with not one contradiction, presents “driving lessons” that we never outgrow or master. Right at the beginning, we learn “eat all the fruit except one kind.” In the first century, God’s Son is revealed; He teaches; He sacrifices Himself; He ascends into heaven; He sends the Holy Spirit to establish His church, and the driving lessons continue. No facet of our lives is missed: morals, work place, government, worship; steer here, turn there, and next week we learn, oops, turned too far, and hence the steering wheel idea takes hold. As I move through my 70’s, the look backwards always fills me with deepening humbleness. When will I drive right down the “straight and narrow?” The realistic echo is always the same, “not gonna happen in this life, GI!” Coupled with this revelation, however, is a growing comfort that “trying” is the goal. Our Father says, Yes, you will never get it completely right, but that’s why I sent My Son. Your faithful albeit imperfect driving on MY road, I take into account and I credit your faithful efforts AS IF YOU DID DRIVE PERFECTLY, and My Son’s blood removes all those imperfections from your driving record. (I John 1:7). Thus, no matter our age, we never will get it perfectly right; but we will value forgiveness and grace more and more.