Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Story of a Car by RaMona Callihan

I really like my car. As a matter of fact, I love driving it. As I was preparing a lesson based on past, present, and future, I used my car as an example. The windshield represented my future, which is much larger than my past, the rearview mirror. It is important to consider the past and learn from it, even make decisions based on what I see there, but I certainly would never stare at it while driving forward. If the windshield is my future and the rearview mirror is my past, then it stands to reason that my current choices would be the steering wheel. I use it to decide which way to go. No one makes that decision but me. Occasionally, I might allow someone else to grab the wheel for a moment, but ultimately, it is up to me where to steer my car.  

In true RaMona fashion, this little picture quickly became a full-blown movie. I began to consider all the other parts of the car and how significant they truly are. For example, the engine has all kinds of working parts that need oil to keep them moving. They need regular maintenance. They need fuel to make them go and brakes to allow them to stop. I know a good mechanic who takes care of some of these things. It's up to me to put the gas in and pay attention to the fuel gage. The speedometer tells me a lot, but only if I pay attention to it.  

My car is a picture of my life. There are many internal parts that require "oil" and "fuel." My brain and my heart physically need to keep moving, and the right choices in food and exercise help to insure good performance. However, there is also my soul, my inner man, that needs to be fueled. The radiator is there to keep things cool, and sometimes my ego and temper need cooling. God's Word is full of the many fluids I will need to keep the engine in check. Then there are the tires. Tires come in all sizes and treads. I wouldn't want bicycle tires on a tractor. Neither would I want all-terrane tires on my luxury ride! Some tires give traction for riding the rough roads. Other tires offer a smooth, comfortable travel. God knows exactly when the road is going to get rough. He provides the right message for each road. Some "tires" are words of encouragement. Others are lessons of accountability, consequence, and reward.  

I could go into headlights for vision, seat belts to protect, cruise control for easy sailing, or even the emergency brake for when I need to stop suddenly to avoid a crash. Instead, I'd like to share a lesson in blinkers. I've been guilty of changing lanes without warning the others around me. Those blinkers are meant to let others know how my actions are about to effect them. They then have the responsibility and freedom to adjust their own speed or position. If I fail to let others know what I'm about to do, I risk causing a big accident. This is so true of my every day actions. It is inconsiderate of me to make big changes without warning others. How rude when they blow a horn at me! My human nature is to react in anger at the horn blower, when in reality they are trying to avoid a collision. Life is full of possible collisions: The other mothers at  school who get in my way, the grocery clerk who is working SOOOOO slowly, and the husband who leaves dirty dishes in the sink.  

There's the gas pedal and brake that must work together but not against each other. There's the roadside assistance and required driver's license. Let's not forget the insurance, especially the uninsured motorist coverage. We've all been driving along next to other cars whose owner/operators had no insurance, no Jesus. We can't look at the car and know. We can assume, but many times we are DEAD wrong.  

Let's think about the tailpipe. What comes out of that thing is pollution. It goes into the engine as air and is circulated through gas fumes and dirty oil and eventually spit back out. Gross! I imagine that's kinda what happens when we take in information, add a little of our own opinions to it and spit it back out. That's pollution!  

God uses everyday vehicles (get it?) to help us learn and apply His word. Psalm 1:1-2 describes the blessed man. He does not walk in the counsel of the wicked by taking advice from those who are not wise in the ways of God. He doesn't hang out with those who make fun of or smirk at the ways of God. Verse 2: Rather, the law of The Lord is his joy, and on his law he meditates day and night. It is through regular reading and thinking through the scriptures that God's Holy Spirit of Truth and Wisdom teaches us and allows us to teach each other. Because of this daily meditation of scripture, we can see lessons in every day life, things like cars.  

I hope this silly story inspires you to learn more about the way our hearts and minds and actions work. I hope it encourages you to search out the scriptures for lessons. Even if it doesn't, I hope it at least has entertained you. Because the things we read and listen to are like the stereo system in our cars. What we listen to becomes what we think about and what we act on. My prayer is that what you listen to and think about and act on will be the Word of God. 

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