Tag Archive | driving

Driving with Our Brakes On

This morning I read an article by A.Z. Tozer on driving a car as it relates to our spiritual walk.  I found it rather interesting that I wrote on a similar theme just a couple of weeks ago (under my ‘heart thoughts’ category).  It makes sense, however, that we would find spiritual correlations throughout our life, for after all, that’s what Jesus’ parables were made of–moral lessons, examples, and guidance based on daily events and routines common to people of that time.

Tozer’s article compares resentment, as well as other things we harbor, to the brakes of a car–hindering our progress, halting our forward motion.  Here’s some excerpts found in the book, The Next Chapter after the Last:

“Many Christians live like a man driving with his brakes on.  The car running with its brakes set is not standing still–not quite, but it is making a hard job out of an easy one.  It is labouring unnecessarily, using more fuel than it should and sending up a stench from its overheated brake linings.  And if the situation isn’t corrected, it will not be going anywhere very long.

“It is, of course, friction that retards the car’s progress, for all brakes work by friction.  The car is temporarily at odds with itself; one surface wants to revolve and another surface in contact with it wants to stand still.  The clash of purposes set up friction; and friction always wins at last.  Nothing can continue to move if it is opposed by enough friction….

“…there is kind of friction which retards spiritual progress and does real injury to the soul.  It is the friction created by inward maladjusment.

“Our Lord had this in mind when He spoke of the value of the “single eye,” and James referred to the same thing when he told of the wavering man of double mind who was unstable in all his ways.  While the heart is at cross-purposes with itself, there can be no inward harmony, only discord and carnal heat that slowly wear out the life.

“One source of friction is resentfulness.  To hold bad feelings against another is to put the brakes on; no matter how sincerely we desire to go on in the holy way, we are held back by the grinding of resentment within us.  Resentment is static and will brake to a stop any soul that will harbor it.  It is vitally important to remove the pressure that is checking forward motion.  This we can do by forgiving our enemies, and taking pardon and cleansing from the Lord.

“To name all possible causes of inward friction would be to list the works of the flesh in their entirety.  The flesh wars against the spirit; that is, it seeks to stop the motions of the growing heart and bring it to a standstill.  Or, failing that, it will put as much pressure as possible on the life and slow its progress as much as it can.  The sad thing is that so many of us seem willing to let things go on that way.  We ‘grovel here below’, creeping forward painfully and at a snail’s pace, when we might be racing unhindered toward the prize.

“Let’s check up on ourselves.  Possible we may need to take the brakes off.”

Driving through Life

 Mirroring Life

As this is being posted, my husband and I are heading to our youngest daughter’s wedding.  We have about 650 miles to drive–just today!  It’s almost funny how differently he and I drive.  He’s so focused on the mirrors, rear view, side, any available!!  He’ll asks me (nicely, of course) to keep my hands down when talking or looking at maps, so I don’t block the side mirror.  And when I realize he’s not paying attention to something I’ve said, it’s because he’s “watching that car behind us!”  OK…….  But if I notice something waaaaayy ahead, like brake lights (!), and think it’s time to slow down, he’s still looking in that rear view mirror, making sure the massive semi behind us is keeping it’s distance.

When I’m driving, he’ll often say, “is THIS what it’s like for you when I drive?” Meaning, of course, that he’s nervous and insecure because he’s not sure what’s happening behind us.   I don’t use my mirrors to the same degree as my husband, but I DO use them.  And, I always look over my shoulder before changing lanes! 

What I realized is that my husband and I handle driving much the same as we view life.  He is much more focused on what’s behind us in the rear view mirror–he’s more discouraged by the past, and is his own worst enemy about personal shortcomings or failures…kind of like the manufacturer comment, “objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.”  My focus always lies further ahead. Rather than concentrating on the now (or the past), I become anxious about all the unknowns ahead, wondering what’s coming up, what if there’s an accident, what if, what if……

The Bible doesn’t say much about driving, but it says alot about walking.  In Vine’s dictionary, walk is defined not only as a practical form of transportation, but also a way of travelling though life–how we live and conduct ourselves.  Here’s just a sampling of Scriptures on how to walk or live:

Walk in My statutes

Walk before Me forever

Walk with integrity

Walk in the light of the Lord

Walk humbly with Thy God

Walk in a newness of life

Walk by faith

Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord

Walk by the Spirit

Walk in love

Walk as children of the light

Walk in Him.

The keystone “walking” verse can be found in I John 2:6,

 “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He [Jesus] walked.” 

How did Jesus walk? As He was growing up, it’s recorded that “Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men” (Luke 2:52). 

Then in Philipians 2,

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself taking the form of a bondservant, being made in the likeness of man. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient..”

Then, as Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, He gave a living example of how to live and walk humbly with God and man:

“For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, netiher one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.”  John 13:15,16 NASB

Jesus walked in obedience, pleasing God, and serving others with humility. We get another glimpse of this in Philippians 2:

“If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself.” 

The Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and the very life of Jesus serve as a compass (or GPS) and a detailed roadmap for our journey or walk, our personal conduct.  We learn a limited number of things from looking to the past, both others’ and our own, such as, how to avoid pitfalls, what bends in the road are treacherous, etc.  And regarding all that lay ahead, much is a mystery, but we are encouraged to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  (Phil 3:14)  To appropriately balance both of these perspectives for Today, we are encouraged to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”  (Heb.12:2) 

Jesus is our ultimate focal point.  He will keep us on track, and strengthen us to “run and not grow weary, walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

If we keep our eyes on Him, our paths will be directed by Him, and ultimately lead to Him for eternity.  And maybe we’ll even drive a little better–with humility and obedience!

Just ‘watch our for the other guy!’