You Can Trust Your Car*
Our teenage daughters, Abby and Kate, have spent the last year learning to drive. They completed a formal drivers education course taught by Mr. Matthews, a friend of ours in the drivers ed business. The course included the usual book learnin’ and four driving sessions where Mr. Matthews took them on residential roads, city streets, and the freeway.
Before teenagers can receive a driver's license in Colorado, they are required to complete a certain number of driving hours under adult supervision in both daytime and nighttime. The state also limits the number of passengers teens can carry for the first several months. If Colorado didn’t set these rules, Doug and I would have. I’ve heard too many stories about cars full of teenagers crashing and . . . Yes, we’d already decided our children wouldn’t drive cars full of friends.
It’s quite different from when I learned to drive. I took a week of classes, a few loops around town with my teacher, and I was licensed to drive. My sister Ellen gave me another course in driving my father’s Datsun (it was a stick shift) but there were no limits on passengers and such. I soon had my first speeding ticket, issued while I was driving a few of my friends around. I haven’t had a speeding ticket since, I might add.
Anyway, because the girls had to have 50 hours each of supervised driving hours, it fell on Doug and me to ride shot gun and advise. Doug did a lot more of this than I did. He’d take the girls out driving for hours at a time, just so they could get their time in. I may have done that once or twice. I reluctantly let the girls drive when we were going to church or to the store. I wasn’t eager to submit my personal well-being, my family’s well-being, and, yes, my vehicle’s well-being to a novice driver.
It was a little easier for me when Doug was in the front seat with one of the newbees. I knew he was able to reach over and correct steering or rescue us from a bad lane change.
It reminded me a little of the Christian life. As I travel along, I may think I’m the one in control, the one making all the decisions. But I’m not. God is the trustworthy one. His wisdom guides, His hand directs.
A couple weeks ago Kate and Abby became bona fide licensed drivers. Now they can drive on their own without Mom or Dad. But even so, they’re still under God’s watchful eye. I’ll have to learn to trust God in a whole new way.
*Did you hear the men’s chorus singing, “You can trust your car to the man who wears the star. The big, bright Texaco star”? I know lots of old commercial jingles. I’ll have to write about that another time.