It’s that time of the year again. When the seat belt clicks across the scrawny body, lanky arms reach out for ten and two, and the metal mouth’s pearly whites grit together in anxiety.
While driving across town today, I saw three different driver’s ed cars. I smiled as I reminisced of my days in driver’s ed. Learning how to check the tire pressure, turning the corner too fast, hitting the curb while attempting to parallel park. I was a terrible driver. So was my partner. But luckily, our teacher never had to use the brake pad on the passenger side.
I feel like I’m in driver’s ed all over again. I’m at this turning point in my life, so much excitement and anticipation which overrides the fear and uncertainty. I have read, studied, prepared, and now it’s my turn behind the wheel. I’ve watched a lot of people drive, some even crash. In my head, I know exactly what kind of driver I want to be.
But what is frustrating is that the first time behind the wheel, you are never quite the driver you want to be. You slam the brakes, you forget the blinker, and you misread the speed limit. Your white knuckles confirm your anxiety. You are so excited to finally be driving, but you are also so scared you might crash.
So you live in the tension. In the beauty of the unknown. You really hope you pass the test. So you take it slow, recalling everything you learned. You ask questions of those who have gone before you. You pay attention to other drivers. You keep driving, even when it’s uncomfortable and scary.
Down the road, you might crash. It might hurt. But the crash is momentary. The tow truck will come, the vehicle and your body will both be fixed. You may vow to never drive again. But this driving thing isn’t really about you, so eventually you’ll get over yourself and sit in the driver’s seat again. And maybe someday, you’ll be confident behind the wheel. You’ll have experienced driving yourself that others will look to you as an example. And an example you will be.
So today, I’m in something I call driver’s ed. I’m unsure and timid. But I’m also crazy excited. I don’t know what is ahead, good or bad…but this I do know: I’m an example. Someone, someday will look at how I drive. To that person, I want to be a reflection of Someone greater than myself. With sincerity and humility, I pray my behavior behind the wheel is worth imitating.