What was it like when you learned to drive? Did you have to take a Driver’s Ed course? Did a parent or family member sit in the passenger seat barking out instructions–one after another–until you were ready to pull the car over just so they would stop? Was there an older sister in the back seat constantly yelling, “Watch out!” (Maybe that was just me.)
My mom was actually very patient. She made it as easy as possible by repeating the same thing, “Keep two hands on the wheel and keep your eyes on the road.” “That was good Joy, but two hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.” “Ok now don’t forget, eyes on the road.” “Eyes on the road.” “Eyes on the road!” Alright already!
Certainly there’s a lot to learn about driving a car. Including the proper use of rear view mirrors. They’re handy gadgets that help us switch lanes and see who’s coming up behind us. Hopefully no flashing blue lights. Rear view mirrors can even be converted into traveling makeup mirrors. Don’t worry Mom, not while the car is moving.
Yes, rear view mirrors are very useful. They provide a perspective of where we’ve been. They help us see who’s around us. They give us a glimpse of ourselves for a makeup check. But we won’t get very far down the road if all we do is stare into the rear view mirror.
The same is true as we drive life’s highway.
We have to keep our eyes on the road if we want to continue moving forward. Whether we’re going fast and furious or we’re out for a leisurely drive, we won’t get anywhere accident-free if all we do is look behind us or at our own reflection.
Is it important to see where we’ve already been? Of course it is. Our past history is a part of our story. But it’s just that–history. It’s behind us. We can learn from it but we can’t change it. So no reason to fixate on it. We can’t move forward if we’re constantly looking back. Keep two hands on the wheel and eyes on the road ahead. And no U-turns.
Do we need to be watchful of who’s around us? Absolutely. Some people will speed by and some we’ll pass. Some will weave in and out of our life. There will be others who stay next to us for many miles. It’s important to know where others are and stay alert as we switch lanes and take new roads. But it’s always with the goal of continuing forward.
What about turning the mirror so we can check our makeup? A distraction. If we’re so concerned about looking good for the drive, we won’t be focused on what’s happening around us or the dangers in front of us. We need to take our eyes off our circumstances and ourselves, and turn them back toward what lies ahead.
It’s time to adjust our focus.
We’re on the road again. Maybe a speed bump slowed us down. Maybe a fender bender. Maybe a multi-car collision. Now that’s behind us and we’re moving forward. It’s okay to check the rear view mirror as we drive life’s highway. But the direction we’re going and what lies ahead are far more important. Ask any race car driver (more on this tomorrow). Eyes on the road!
“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” Proverbs 4:25
May I pray?
Lord Jesus, we spend a lot of time looking in our rear view mirrors. Sometimes we’re consumed with what happened in the past. Sometimes we’re more interested in who’s around us than what’s up ahead. Sometimes we’re more concerned with how we look right now than where we’re going to end up if we stay on our current course. Lord, please help us to take our eyes off the rear view mirror and look at what’s in front of us. Helps us to fix our eyes on You and move forward towards You, even if we’re not sure where the road leads. Amen.
Q4U: What’s one of your craziest car stories, either as a driver or passenger?