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Girlfriends in God - Sept. 22, 2010

September 22, 2010 

The Learner's Permit 
Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth 
"Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning" (Proverbs 9:9 TNIV).

Friend to Friend 
I had dreaded the day for months. My breakfast and lunch stuck in my throat, not quite making it past the lump lodged there. I knew the momentous day was coming. I had fifteen and a-half years to prepare, but that proved insufficient. Would I live through the ordeal? Could I withstand the pressure? Should I allow the inevitable? 

"Hi, Mom!" Steven chirped as he eagerly burst through the kitchen door to disrupt my musings.  "I'm home from school. Ready to go get my driver's permit?"

"Oh, hi, Son. I'd almost forgotten about it," I teased. "Was that today?"

"Mom, you know it's today. It's been marked on the calendar for weeks and you even made the appointment at the DMV so we wouldn't have to wait!"

What was I thinking? I wondered to myself.

"Oh yes, I remember. Let me gather my things." I muttered and puttered around the house, stalling for time. "Pocketbook, keys, Steven's social security card, insurance information, Tylenol, nerve medication - OK, I'm ready to go."

I knew Steven was prepared. He had studied three times more for his driver's permit exam than he had for his biology semester exam. After all, which was more important? He was ready. I wasn't.

We arrived at the ever-crowded DMV where we filled out the necessary papers. I paced the waiting room with several other apprehensive parents while Steven took the test. Of course, he passed. Of course he wanted to drive home - on a Friday afternoon - in five o'clock traffic - on a major highway. It was the longest twelve miles of my life.

As we neared a busy intersection close to our home, I saw the traffic light turning yellowish pink.  Did he see it? I wasn't sure.

"Steven," I managed to say through clenched teeth as we rapidly approached. "Are you going to stop?"

"I don't know? Should I stop or try to get through?"

In his indecision, he came to a screeching halt - right smack dab in the middle of the intersection where we sat idling over the manhole. Cars on the east, west, north and south, stared in disbelief. 

"Now what?" he yelped with a voice an octave higher than normal.

"Back up."

"What?" he asked.

"Back up."

The car behind us graciously backed up and let Steven shimmy back into position behind the red light, which promptly turned green. Whew! That was close.

Later that day, he ran a stop sign in a parking lot, declaring he never knew that parking lots even had traffic signs.

After our eventful day, I decided Steven did not have a driver's permit. He had a learner's permit. He had permission to learn - and learn he would.

I wonder if perhaps I got a taste of how our Heavenly Father feels as his children embark on their Christian journey. Like Steven passing the written test, we might think we know all the rules, can keep life under control, know when to stop, go, slow down, and speed up. Then we see a yellow light from the Lord and wonder - Does that mean to slow down or speed up and go through quickly?

I don't know about you, but I've been caught in the intersection of life more times than I'd like to admit. I've had times when I couldn't decide whether to go forward or stop or back up. As a result, I found myself idling in the middle of my journey, holding up traffic.

On those days, I think God is saying, "Back up. That's right, back up and wait until I give you a green light." I've decided that when it comes to driving down the road of life, I only have my learner's permit. He has never given me permission to take hold of the wheel and apply my foot to the accelerator without Him in the car. 

Let's Pray 
Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me when I try to take control of my life. Forgive me when I act like I think I know it all. I don't. I am still learning. Thank you for being the patient Teacher and showing me when to stop, yield, or go.

In Jesus' Name, 

Now It's Your Turn 
Do you ever act like a spiritual know it all, or are you always willing for God to teach you new truth?

Look up the following Psalms and see what the writer says about his desire to learn.

Psalm 25:4, 5

Psalm 27:11

Psalm 32:8

Psalm 85:11

Psalm 119:68

More from the Girlfriends 
I am always learning! Many of the wonderful truths that God has taught me have now become books. Most of them are birthed out of struggles in my own life. I invite you to visit my website, click on the books page, and see if there is something there God wants you to learn. You can also read excerpts and watch videos about various topics. And right now, Dreams of a Woman is offered for an amazing special. See you there!  

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