Learning to Drive
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:14 NIV
Do you remember the days before you learned to drive a car? In those early teen years, you dream of new freedom. You study the driver's manual and can't wait for the day when you get behind the wheel. You may have attended Drivers Ed or been taught by your parents. Finally, the big day arrives; with apprehension and anxiety, you get behind the wheel for the first time. Nervous and with your hands sweating, you buckle your seatbelt, ensure the tutor is strapped in, check your mirrors, and put the car in gear. Hopefully, you've found the right gear in your excitement, and don't give the accelerator too much gas. You're off! With the car in motion, you quickly realize that the knowledge you gained from the driver’s manual is not the same as the experience of driving.
In today's verse, the prophet Habakkuk talks of a day when we will "be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord. This verse means applying what we’ve learned in the driver's manual to driving the car. It is recognizing that our relationship with God is primary, becoming in tune with his desires for us and all of humankind, and setting aside our natural sinful selves. In doing this, it becomes possible to imagine a day when the fighting and division of the world are replaced with the rule of love and kindness God wants us to have with him and each other.
While we wait for that day to come, we can get in some practice driving hours. The more time we spend in the car listening to the Holy Spirit as our instructor, the better drivers we become. Our driving manual is the Bible. No matter how much we've studied the guide, upon rereading, we are reminded of things we've forgotten, overlooked, or didn't relate to before. We then adapt our spiritual driving to what we’ve learned in the manual, and when we have questions, we ask our instructor.
God, we thank you for the promised day when the entire world is filled with your presence as all people set aside their egos and selfishness and accept you as the Lord of our lives. Until that day comes, help us as we seek a genuinely loving relationship with you. May your loving grace shine through all that we say and do. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen