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IMG_5726My daughter Beth has been having driving lessons. I promised her that as soon as she had passed the theory and hazard avoidance part of the driving test, then I would arrange insurance for her to drive our car so that she could gain additional experience, prior to taking the practical test.

I am very grateful to her instructor for all he has achieved to date, but I am pretty certain that Beth does not get cross with him or herself when she makes mistakes during her ‘official’ lessons. With Dad in the passenger seat things are a little different. It is necessary to take into account that the instructor has a Ford Fiesta with a petrol engine. Driving our Ford Focus, with its Econetic diesel engine that demands early gear changes, is a little different.

photoWhen Beth is driving we get by with few problems. When they occur I do not consider them mistakes, but opportunities. In fact, I would prefer Beth to make numerous mistakes now while she is learning, than make a mistake for the first time after she has passed her practical test and is out driving alone without me watching over her from the passenger seat.

It is only a guess, but I believe that God is probably fine with most of the mistakes we make as we navigate life. I welcome Him sitting in the passenger seat, safe in the knowledge that when He allows me to make a mistake He does so for a reason. If I fail to learn from my mistakes then I could be heading for problems further down the line. Just like a learner driver who passes a driving test and then is confronted with something never previously encountered. Most drivers will have such experiences. How they deal with them will depend on how well they paid attention while learning, and how they approach the task of driving a motor vehicle after the learner plates are removed.

learnerI passed my driving test in March 1974. It was over thirty years later before I took and passed an advanced driving test. And I am still learning. I surrendered my life to God in August 1969. I was baptised in March 1974 (the day before I passed my driving test). And I am still learning. I need God in the passenger seat more than ever, because the further I travel the greater the realisation that there is so much more to learn.

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:1-5 NIV)