By Dennis Moles, Teaching Pastor Bella Vista Church
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Who is the bravest person you’ve ever met? A firefighter who rushed into a burning building? A police officer who ran toward danger while all others were running away? Maybe she’s a single mom who works two jobs to keep their kids fed and clothed.
All good answers and you probably have 100 others that are equally as compelling. Up until 6 years ago I probably would have agreed with many of your assertions. What happened 6 years, ago you might ask? My oldest son turned 14 years and 9 months old.
It was during that season of life that I was introduced to a group of super-humans whose bravery dwarfed the heroic gallantry of any and all persons…the driving instructor.
Calm, cool, and collected, with ice-water coursing through his veins, he looks death directly in the face on a daily basis. Yes, my friends, if you look up the word bravery in the dictionary this man’s face appears.
The day I met this mythical creature was the day my unyielding admiration found a new object. This square jawed marvel would take to the road ways with my ill-prepared and easily distracted teenage son. Armed with nothing but his wits, a clipboard, a well-warn ball-point, and an extra set of brake pedals on the passenger side of his white Century Driving School Prius.
It was at that exact moment that my admiration began to fade…this man had an extra set of brake pedals. Furthermore, he was only going to be driving with my son for 4 hours. While I, the child’s parent, had to complete the remaining 46 required hours in my personal vehicle, which was—at the time—a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am. And guess what this tiny Detroit-made death trap did not have? Brake pedals on passenger side!!!
Then it slowly dawned on me…all three of my kids will learn to drive the same way. Not by sitting in a classroom or behind the wheel of the Century Driving School Prius but by logging hours behind the wheel of their father and mother’s current Michigan-made marvel. We’ll log the hours. We’ll set up the cones to practice maneuverability. We’ll practice again, and again, and again, and again—for what seems like eternity only longer—until finally they are ready.
So here is the lesson from all of this. Driving is like Spiritual Formation. It is not accomplished by listening or watching but by doing. You can’t just learn the laws of the road and call yourself a driver; you must learn to apply those laws in real-life ways to be considered safe and competent.
So, I wonder how many of us have ever thought about the law of God in this way—not rules to be believed, memorized, and understood but eternal truths to be put into action.