Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Example I Want to Give is the Example I Should Live

I was thinking that if I ever decide to change careers, a job that might be right for me is teaching drivers ed. Yeah I know, those words even feel weird coming from me. But since my oldest daughter has gotten her permit and then her license, and I have been instructing her in driving, I think it's something I could do and enjoy. Except for the near death experiences that come along with that job, I think God has given me the right temperament for it. But my experience is limited, so I guess I better wait and see.
I'm not sure what I expected from the drivers ed class that she took some months back. For some odd reason I guess I was at least expecting they would....teach her how to drive. But with the few days they spent in the classroom, and even fewer days behind the wheel, I realized that the class only introduced her to the concepts and skills in driving. Now it's up to me and her mother to actually teach her how to drive. But it's fine, I'm enjoying it, she is doing great, and like I said...I think I'm finding out I am kinda good at it.
However, in the midst of all that driving instruction there is one very important non-driving related lesson being taught, and it's being taught to me and not her. The thing is, I am teaching her all of the little things she needs to do and the details in the rules of the road; like...make sure your wheels come to a complete stop when at a stop sign or stop light; make sure to turn your signal light on far enough in advance of your turn to give the following cars proper notice; or don't wait til the last minute to start braking for a stop because you may not be able to stop, and it's hard on the brakes. But the lesson that's being taught is that at the moment some of these instructions are coming our of my mouth, I realize that....I don't always do them myself. A bit of shame comes over me because I know that I don't always come to a complete stop at an intersection; I don't always hit my signal well in advance of a turn, and I often bear down on my brakes at the last minute. In fact, one day she was driving, and I reminded her when making a turn as she holds the wheel at 10 & 2, to turn the wheel with hand over hand, which makes the turn smoother. Then the next day she was in the front seat with me driving, and as I was making a left turn with one hand at 12:00, she said "Don't forget, hand over hand". I think I responded with something like, 'years of experience...I can do it like this".
Though it was a light-hearted moment, it did cause a truth to settle on me. That truth was, any example that I want to give...I better live; that people learn more through the eye than the ear and it's better that I show them than tell them. And of course that's important for things like drivers ed, but even more so for the things I teach and preach from God's word. I know that the best instruction I could ever give of God's word is not from what I say from the pulpit on Sunday morning, but what I live in my life everyday. And though there has been a lot of change in me, there are still things that I teach that I don't do. And it is with that which I must go to God in much prayer.
I ask the Lord to keep on changing me. I know that I am better, but I also know that He's not done. I want Him to help me to live a life that shows His word and draws others to Him. That way, how I live is the example I give. 

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