Riding in the car as my Dad taught my sister and mom, the mechanics of using a stick shift, was a piece of cake compared to the days spent in the backseat while Mike taught our kids to drive.
It was stressful! One time, after letting our daughter drive to the grocery store, I actually felt like kissing the ground when we finally got home.
When to accelerate and when to slow down.
When to drive a bit aggressively and when to stay in the flow of traffic.
How to anticipate the moves of other drivers.
And of course- the dreaded parallel park.
As a non-driver, I heard these terms, had a basic understanding of them but had never really ‘learned’ them because I had not had to use them. But I sat in the backseat, and in my head, I judged their skills, their improvement or lack of improvement. But when I just couldn’t help it, I gave advice and scored their progress out loud. I know right? From someone who doesn’t even drive! The ultimate know-it-all backseat driver.
Because I cannot drive, I have never had that momentary blind spot experience during a lane change but having little to no peripheral vision, I can imagine.
A few weeks ago the Holy Spirit challenged and convicted me, again, about my ongoing, persistent blind spot.
I had to do a head check and a heart check. I was strongly prompted to recognize that, I have been too aggressive with my words and opinions. Without checking the flow of conversation, I judged incorrectly and changed lanes not considering the person right next to me. With some, I do not come to a rolling stop or even an abrupt stop - I just keep going. And yes, I give my opinions from the backseat, judging and scoring.
I read somewhere that we can become addicted to being right, and to giving our opinions. Ugh!
I also read on my daughters wall that, ‘it is better to be kind than to be right.’ Truth.
Then this week my pastor spoke from James chapter 3- of course.
He spoke about the inconsistency of our speech, that can hurt when used carelessly yet it also can heal if we humble ourselves, repent and confess.
But sometimes I still overshare, give out strong opinions, and spew my bad attitudes…
I worry and wonder if I will ever get it right and if I will ever tame my tongue. I feel like the driver in the video game that keeps crashing in the same spot.
But then my pastor said something that gave me hope.
He said, “you are not who you used to be and not who you will be. This is the process of transformation.”
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 NLT
I’m glad that Paul’s confidence is not in me but in the Lord. I’m also glad the Lord is doing the work and the transforming because I feel I don’t always have what it takes.
I don’t like that I have this blind spot, which isn’t really a blind spot, because I know it is there.
I just thought I was a bit farther in the game. Maybe I am, but I still hate when I crash and injure others.
Lord, thank you that you are at work in me, transforming and changing me. Forgive me for my words that have not built up but have torn down. Forgive me for stumbling, again, and not anticipating or considering others. Help me be quick to listen and slow to speak. In Jesus’ Name, Amen