I will always remember learning to drive. More than that, I will remember being taught to drive. My mom took me in our 1998 Ford Windstar to an empty parking lot. She cautiously seceded the driver’s seat to an eager 15 year old. The drastic turns, sudden stops, and even more sudden starts, tested her patience. And it showed. She remarked nearly every small mistake, an issue every 25 feet. My mother, a characteristically patient woman, exhibited outward signs of concern for her safety in my driving. I didn’t note the same concerns.
I believe my parents made a family decision (most likely for the health and safety of my mom) and my dad began to give me driving lessons. My father is much more relaxed in the passenger seat and He usually sat looking out the passenger door window, not even acknowledging minute mistakes.
He asked if mom got worried about 38 things every quarter mile. I confirmed. He said she helped teach my older siblings with the same issue.
He did however give one small piece of advice, “look at the horizon ahead of you on the road. Focus on the distance where you are headed. Once you see the end goal, everything else is seen in light of that goal.”
He said this is how he learned to drive without being surprised by a turn in the road, not being taken off guard by traffic, clearly seeing unruly drivers.
While this helped my development as a driver, it also helped my development as a person. This helped me keep things straight, true, and uninhibited.
In life, our goals, trials, and issues change from stage of life to stage of life. Think about it: when I was learning to drive, my goal was getting a driver’s license, then a job, then a car. Fast forward to college goals: keeping up a good GPA, making friends on campus, graduating. Then it’s on to finding a good job, getting married, having kids, raising said kids, retirement and grandchildren.
Goals are reached, dropped and changed. Issues arise, fall, and fade.
But what if we viewed our goals and issues the same way my dad viewed driving? What if we viewed our current and future circumstances in light of a bigger purpose?
Purpose is what keeps the car pointed toward the horizon. Purpose is what puts a road hazard into prospective. It’s not about the pothole. It’s about the purpose. The destination.
Isaiah 43:7 tells us that God created us for His glory.
There’s our purpose. God’s glory. In everything we do. That purpose gives us a lens to view our whole lives through and challenges us to ask ourselves, Is there an area that I’m not giving God glory?
That’s the horizon we keep our eyes on when we get hindered in traffic. When we get more concerned with the hazards. When there’s a driver that careens out of their lane and into our vehicle. This is where we keep our eyes fixed.
This is a good thought. But there will be distractions. Legitimate distractions.
Earlier in Isaiah 43, God is telling the Israelites that they will go through difficulty.
When you pass through waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
No one is going to argue that flames, water, rivers are not things to worry about.
These are legitimate. Things that if you explained, no one is going to fault you for slowing down and dealing with the issue.
And God doesn’t say he’s going to take the problem away. He says He’s going to be with you. The Creator God Almighty Savior is with you. He’s in the trenches with you. He wants you to glorify Him in your inability to conquer these things on your own. So even in this, we are showing a reflection of the Gospel, of our need for him. In your hurt and pain and confusion, He is with you and we need Him.
That’s what makes the thing that we’re dealing with worth dealing with. There’s a bigger purpose. It puts the road block in perspective of the overall goal. It lets us show the world that in spite of a legitimate fear or distraction, we have hope in Christ.
This is why Vertical Access is focused on making fully devoted followers of Christ. We don’t just want to follow Jesus with part of our lives. Christians that segment their lives segment their effectiveness for Christ. We want everything we do to focus on the purpose of glorifying God. We want to show the world that following Christ is worth it. That we are all in on following him. No regrets. No distractions. All in. All in on God’s purpose of glorifying Him.
College & Outreach Pastor