I remember when my dad was teaching me to drive a car…actually a truck. My uncle Claude found a nice little charcoal grey 88′ Ford Ranger XLT 4×4 with roll bars and lights on top for me. I remember my uncle Claude driving the truck and stopping on a hill. He told me to get into the driver’s seat so he could show me how to drive a “stick shift.” So I did and then it hit me…I won’t say what I was thinking, but let’s just say I was nervous. You see, my uncle is, how do I put this…..CRAZY. We used to tell people that he was a preacher just to see the look on their faces. It wasn’t that he was ungodly, he loves the Lord, but he was just so funny and comical that at that time it would be hard to believe he was a preacher. Most people view pastors as stiff, rigid, rule-abiding, straight-arrow kind of people. When I look at what God is doing in my life, I wonder what He’s thinking. But that’s no matter in this story. So I’m on a hill, in a 4×4, never drove a stick shift before, and I’m about to go change my underwear when uncle Claude said, “Go on boy! Whatchoo waitin’ on!?” And he released the emergency brake and, well, we started plummeting downhill…backwards! He said, “Drive!!!!” And I pushed the clutch in and put it in 1st gear and….drove. Obviously no one was killed that day, but it was one of my most memorable moments with Claude. The other is when I gave him a black eye, but we’ll save that for another time.
My dad taught me how to drive everything with the exception of a stick-shift (as you read, Claude had that chore). He taught me to look down the road, never right in front of you. Always look down the road and never keep focused on the vehicles in front of you because they can and will lead you astray. Trust your eyes and instincts, be aware always, and watch the road in a general way; never too specific or you’ll lose track of all that’s going on around you.
Leading, whether it’s in a church setting or in your own home, is done the same way. In my situation, I don’t see the specifics (people and events) in the future. I do see the road. And I do see the task at hand without focusing so much on it that the general focus and vision is lost. There must be a balance. I must always be aware of the specifics, but not focused on them. Right now I, with a host of others, am paving a foundation for future congregants, pastors, teachers, counselors, seniors, and youths. Just like driving, all that you do at this point in the road can affect what happens down the road. Whether you’re on a hill in a 4×4 or on the highway, you will move and you will make an impact, but how will you drive? Drive forward, looking ahead, remaining focused on Jesus Christ. Not numbers, not ministries, not quarrels, not carpet or drapes, not music, but glorifying Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It really is that simple. Holiness, holiness, holiness.
I charge you today to ask Jesus to show you the unholiness in your life daily and gift it to Him with open hands. Open hands so that when He takes your gift, you can receive your own gift in the form of a blessing for that moment, in that moment.
2 Corinthians 7:1