My oldest daughter passed her permit test this week. She was very nervous about the whole ordeal, but it was not busy at the little testing facility and she got in very quickly. Before she knew it, the test was over and she was holding the printout of her permit. She hated the picture of course, but doesn't everyone? She was very excited to finally be able to say she had her permit. Her cousins in Vermont, who are both five months younger than her, got theirs when they were fifteen, which the law allows there. The law in Connecticut requires you to be sixteen to get your permit. That was one long year for her.
A lot of memories came flooding back as I remembered when I went to get my permit. I passed the first time around too and learned how to drive on our family's incredibly long station wagon. I must say that learning in a big car allows you to be able to drive pretty much anything in life. We even had a huge Ford van for a while, and though I did drive it into a ditch one winter, (it was the frozen rut's fault...really!!!)it was fun to drive that beast around and look down on all the other drivers. Learning on the back roads of Vermont was the best, with very few drivers to compete with.
I had an acquaintance up the road that got her permit a little while after me. I did not get invited to other people's houses very often, so it made me feel special knowing she wanted to celebrate with me at her house. I waited on the front porch of our home...and waited... and waited. It was long past due for her to arrive, but that wasn't uncommon for her family. But after an hour or more, I went inside a little disappointed. Maybe she had decided she didn't want me to come over? Then the phone rang. (This was long before cell phones so we had to rely on land lines to communicate.) It was my friend - she sounded a bit upset, but was quick to explain what happened. She and her dad had gotten in the car to come pick me up. He had let her take the wheel for the first time and she happily began the little drive down the dirt road. Everything had been fine until they had reached the giant hill situated between to fields. She had hit some loose gravel and lost control of the car. It flipped over into a ditch and they had hung suspended by their seat belts until help came.
All this had happened just beyond my view. I could see a part of the hill from my house, but somehow I had completely missed the accident that had left them unhurt, but totally shaken up. She told me she still wanted me to come over, but not to celebrate anymore. It was more for moral support and comfort now. Her dad came to pick me up shortly after. We spent the evening trying to forget what had happened, but very grateful and thankful that she and her dad had not been hurt.
I have learned through my years of driving that I need Jesus helping me every moment of the day....especially when driving. The very first time I get in the car for the day, I always pray for safety and protection throughout my travels. There are so many people on the roads, many of them not following the laws of the land. We saw a sign the other day that said, "A stop sign meets you actually need to stop!" It's sad that they need to reinforce this fact simply because people do not want to obey. It seems to me that drivers have become worse on the road, and more and more people are doing their own thing. That endangers everyone else on the roads. Just make sure you are not one of them! Keep doing what is right and obey the laws!
Thoughts to Ponder:
Some of you may have your permit, and maybe even your license. Congratulations! You have taken one more step in your journey of becoming a responsible adult. There are a lot of laws you need to abide by, some of them easy to follow and possibly a few others that may be hard to want to obey. It's a bit like our Christian life. God has an entire instruction guide for us to follow - the Bible. Some of the things He asks us to do are easy, while others are things we wish we could brush under the rug. Just let God guide you through all the sharp curves, the ups and downs, and the endless stretches of boring scenery that you go through in life. He is the best One to take the wheel of your heart because He knows our whole future and has a plan for each one of us. Just follow His road map.
Dear heavenly Father, thank You for your constant protection in my life, and for Your mercies that are new every morning. Please help me to let go of trying to control what happens in my life, and allow You to take the wheel and guide me. Help me be patient with what may come, and learn from the lessons You bring across my path. In Jesus name, Amen.