Learning to Drive
John Telgren

I cannot believe it. My oldest son behind the wheel! Of course I couldn't reflect on this until well after the experience. I now know what I put my own Dad through the first time we went out for a drive. My son, like me, learned that on the highway, it takes very little movement of the steering wheel to keep the car in your lane. Just a little too much movement takes you onto the shoulder, someplace you really do not want to be. It is like second nature to me now, but I can remember how nervous I was trying to keep track of all the signs, the speedometer, which is the gas and which is the brake, right-of-ways, and yes, putting the car back into drive after you have backed out in reverse!

Oh, what I must have put my Dad through when I was learning to drive! But he never gave up on me. In fact, he had me drive everywhere so I could get a lot of practice. He wanted me to be very proficient. Not only this, but he really enjoyed the time together. He told me not too long ago how he misses me and my brother being around, because we used to drive everywhere.

Our spiritual life is not unlike learning to drive. The journey metaphor of the Christian life is one that resonates loudly with me. In order to make it through the wilderness to our destination safely, we need to learn to listen to the instructions of our Master. We would like to put Him into the driver's seat, but He has given us free will. Instead, He instructs us and it is up to us to listen, practice, and trust His instructions.

His instructions consist of a "map" that shows us how to get home. As we study the map, we do not want to become so obsessed with it that we forget the purpose of it. Our faith is grounded not in the map, but in the One who gave us the map. The map is not our destination, but points the way to our destination.

Jesus said, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life” (John 5:39-40).

It is very sad when I meet people who study the map and know it so well, but obviously have missed the One whom the map is pointing to. We do not serve a map, but a living Lord. Jesus is the resurrection and the "life." He is the way, the truth and the "life."

Our purpose is not to know the map, but to know our Lord. God is Love. Therefore He does not want us to take this journey alone. He wants us to take it as a family. He wants us to encourage each other. There are those out there who are lost and don't know where they are going. He wants us to bring them in.