A DRIVING LESSON
When I leave the house in the morning, I get into my car. I crank it, put on my seatbelt, and adjust the seat. The air conditioning and heat are preset. Everything appears to be ready–but the car doesn’t move yet.
I have three choices. I can put the car in reverse, leave it in neutral, or put it in drive. Where I place the gear shift will determine where I go.
If I put my gear shift in neutral, the car won’t move. It will just sit there. I can press my foot on the accelerator, but all it does is cause the motor to race. As long as the gear shift is in neutral, I will just sit there.
Sitting is a choice. Sitting may be safe, but it doesn’t solve any situations or take me anywhere. Sitting may be comfortable, but it leads to complacency.
This is a problem that many churches face–they just live in neutral. They don’t want to go backwards, but they also don’t want to take the risk of moving forward. Neutral is good for a brief time, but if you stay in neutral, you will run out of gas!
Reverse is good to use briefly. I have to back out of my carport. I have to be careful not to go too far or I will be in my neighbor’s bushes. There is a precise distance I can travel in reverse in order to go forward.
In order to get to my office, I have to shift the gear to drive, which causes my car to go forward. As I start to go forward, I must determine how fast I need to go. Different roads require different speeds. I only go 25 miles per hour in my neighborhood. I have friends who have blue lights on their cars who help remind me the importance of staying at 25. Then I get on Taylor Road, which allows me to go up to 50 miles per hour. I then turn on I-85 and can go 70 miles an hour.
The roads we travel each day help determine the speed we ought to use. You get into trouble on the interstate if you are only going 25 or if you decide to go 95. You really get into trouble in my neighborhood if you try to go 95. In life, everyday we need to pick the right roads and the right speed.
A good way to get up every morning is to decide where God wants you to go and what roads you are going to take. Sometimes it requires staying in neutral to make a decision. Sometimes it requires going in reverse in order to get in a better position to go forward. Eventually, I must go into drive and go forward. God has a good destination for each of us every day!
Paul writes, “Whatever we may have to go through now is less than nothing compared with the magnificent future God has planned for us. The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own.” (Romans 8:19 Phillips)
So, get up every day, get on your tiptoes, and expect the magnificent future that God has planned for you. As God told Israel, “Clear lots of ground for your tents. Make your tents large and spread out! Think big! Use plenty of rope! Drive the tent pegs deep. Don’t hold back. You are not going to come up short.” (Isaiah 54:2 Message)
It’s driving time.