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drive’n

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12, NASB).

“Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims” (1 Corinthians 6:12, MSG).

“All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor” (1 Corinthians 10:23-24, NASB).

“Looking at it one way, you could say, ‘Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.’ But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well” (1 Corinthians 10:23-24, MSG).

drivingI grew up watching my mom drive. She has her own technique. My grandfather was a used car dealer, so she learned to drive very young. I think she had her license by the time she was 14 years old—fairly common back in the ‘50s. I’m sure a lot of her technique had to do with self-preservation.

Before disc brakes, power steering, voice commands, and GPS, you had to actually read a map for directions and other crazy-ass things like that. Cooling down the car meant rolling down the windows, and the flat space behind the back seat was a legitimate place for a kid to take a nap. Things have changed.

Driving was a bit of a physical workout. It probably did take two feet on the brakes to slow some of those monstrosities back then. So that is my mom’s technique: her left foot rode on the brake and her right foot operated the gas pedal. She still does this 60 plus years later!

Honestly, I started driving very early as well. Years before I ever took Drivers Ed, my grandfather had already entrusted me with legitimate driving responsibilities. On more than one occasion, he and I rode the train from McGregor to Cleburne, where he purchased two used cars. He drove one home, and I drove the other one. Not only was it a 75-mile trip, but I was only 12 years old!

As I got older, I grew to enjoy the gas pedal much more than the brakes. My dad said, “Son, another ticket and they’re going to take your license.” Bummer. My need for speed drove him nuts.

Have you ever noticed how important the gas pedal is to a car? I know it’s kind of a silly question, but without a gas pedal it kind of defeats the whole purpose of having a car. Without the gas pedal, there’s no motion. Granted, you have to steer and maneuver, but nothing is gained without some speed. And you have to actually come to grips with the fact that there is a whole lot of power at your disposal.

Which is exactly why we also need brakes. Neither one is more important than the other. They’re both necessary for safe operation. If all we ever do is stomp on the gas, it’s eventually going to create problems. If our tendency is to hit the brakes all the time, we’re not going to get anywhere. That, my friends, is not driving. There has to be a healthy balance between the two for the overall ride to be successful.

The Apostle Paul’s declaration of “All things are permissible” appears to either carry a lot of weight with church folk today, or none at all. Those of us who grew up in rigid religious environments probably have a tendency to put ALL of the emphasis on “but, not all things are profitable.” To these people, it’s all about putting on the brakes… slowing it down… taking care… getting it right. These few little verses are tightly jammed inside of a whole juicy burrito of scary verbiage. I can see why those of us who are consumed with keeping the rules might skip over the “All things are permissible” part. I get it.

But this set of instructions and directives are tethered to an incredible thought:  Grace IS pretty dang amazing.  In fact, it’s not grace if it’s not amazing.  Most things that are supernatural are amazing… or should be.

People are granted permission to live and make choices (even really bad ones) because of His grace. Take a look out there. It’s happening everywhere! People are pressing on the gas pedal and moving all over the place in all kinds of vehicles.

It defeats the entire progress of the kingdom’s traffic when we see it as our job to castigate and alienate everyone we think is “not getting it right.” Frankly, you can start with me if you think your spiritual job is to find and expose the sin in this world. I’m an easy target. But try to remember that I, too, am righteous because of what Christ did, not because of what I’ve done or how I live. HE did the grace part, not me.  That is why it’s amazing.

Like it or not, our cars have a gas pedal, and it’s a really good thing as far as cars go. And I’m absolutely convinced that brakes are also an extremely good thing—even for those of us who have a low tolerance for any kind of speed regulation whatsoever.

Drive friendly, people. It can be dangerous out there. But, wow! There’s so much to see and enjoy!

MDP

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Joseph Rodriguez
    April 24, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Good one dude… next time youre around Mobile, I’ll let you take a spin in my 2007 Vett.. 6-speed manual, 450 H.P…. Keep writing

    • April 24, 2014 at 10:28 am

      the prospects give me chills!

  2. suepete
    April 25, 2014 at 12:03 am

    People younger than your mother got their driver’s license when 14, LOL Nice, Mike, I like this one.

    • April 25, 2014 at 7:23 am

      LOL! I’m sure they did. Wonder who?

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