As a kid, I rarely, if ever gave much thought to driving. I just knew we would climb into our family van and go. But as a teen, something switched. Like many teenage boys, I began to appreciate my dad’s aggressive driving habits and tense as my mom creeped along the road. Like my dad, when I thought of driving myself, I knew I wanted to fly.

Then driver’s ed happened. The rules of the road were pounded into a full room of eager, juvenile, immature soon-to-be drivers. Our instructor did his best, but he certainly had his work cut out for him. I read about one driver’s ed student who, when told to put the car in “passing gear” by the instructor, shifted up to the big “P” slamming the car to a hard stop. Thankfully, no one was hurt, and the experience surely turned into an excellent teaching moment for the instructor moving forward! While nothing quite that exciting happened in our class, rookie drivers may just bring such dramatic, and traumatizing, possibilities.

I can still recall those first few times switching seats. Exhilaration. Nervousness. An exceptionally heavy foot. (Wait. That last one didn’t happen until AFTER I passed the class.)

The perspective’s different in the driver’s seat. So is the responsibility.

In late June, I accepted the call to Pleasant Garden Baptist Church and began serving there with the outgoing Sr. Pastor, Michael Barrett in mid-July. I moved from an Associate Pastor’s role to a Sr. Pastor’s position.

I switched seats. The perspective’s different and so is the responsibility.

But here’s the best thing. The Instructor is better than any driving teacher I’ve ever had. God says to those who look to Him for guidance and direction,

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Psalm 32:8

I’m glad I switched seats. I’m enjoying the change in perspective and responsibilities. But oh, how grateful I am for the wise, faithful, diligent, guidance of the Instructor. Without Him, I’d be more clueless and lost than that teen who thought the “P” on the steering column meant “pass.” Just like when I began driving, I’m sure to make a mistake or two (or ten) along the way. But with God guiding our way with His watchful eye, I’m hopeful we’re more likely to avoid running red lights, crashing on the brakes, or other such “rookie” mistakes in the driver’s seat.

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