Sunday, February 7, 2010


I am a relatively new truck driver. As part of my training (and mistakes), I was required to take a Defensive Driving Course. I found that in defensive driving principles there are several things they teach that have spiritual lessons.

The first thing they teach is to 'get the big picture'. Most people tend to look at the car ahead of them. They teach drivers to look at the vehicles in the distance too. Not just those moving with me, but those coming toward me also. That way, I get earlier warning about what is happening. When vehicles are stopping, dangers ahead or someone swerving out of lane. In life, I also tend to look at just the day in front of me. The people closest to me. The situations of the moment. How many 'scars' might I have avoided in my life if I had learned a lesson by watching someone else learn a lesson driving further down the road of life? The school of hard knocks can be very expensive, and unnecessary! The big picture also encompasses not just the immediate, not even just this life, but most importantly, eternity. How often do we live as if this is the only day that matters? I'm not talking about being anxious for the future, but always being aware there is a future. Jesus often spoke in parables about a master returning unexpectedly. A groom surprising the wedding guests. The Puritans had a saying, 'You are not ready to live until you are ready to die'. That is having 'the big picture'.

The second is making yourself visible. Turn on you lights. Honk your horn. Yell and wave if you have to, but make sure the people who need to see you have every opportunity to do so. Jesus said it this way, 'let your light shine', 'a city set on a hill cannot be hid'. I have been encouraged to be very aware of how those in front and behind me are experiencing my driving performance. Behavior that is not only safe and courteous, but also a reflection of the company I work for. I also have to consider how my drive through life reflects the God I serve. Don't get noticed for rude driving or bad living. Rather, live a life that reflects God, a life of love and holiness. Good works that reflect God's heart to the world He has placed around us.

A third lesson is only back up as much as you need to. You have a huge windshield and good size side windows. All for moving forward. Your side and rear view mirrors are small. Of course you want to have a sense of where you have been. But that is not your main focus. That view is mainly to assist you in moving wisely forward. Yes, there are times you need to look back. Be very cautious when you do. But if all you are looking at is what's behind you, YOU ARE GOING BACKWARDS! Vehicles are made primarily to move forward. So are you and I. Christ died so we could be released from the past and move into the future He is preparing for us. In driving, backing up is a rare, high risk maneuver. In living it is too.

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