I left for England last Tuesday and arrived Wednesday morning to lecture in seven different cities throughout the UK over the next 10 days. It was going to be a fun trip, I knew.
To make transportation easier on myself and my sponsors, though, I decided to rent a car, which meant that I had to learn how to drive on the left side of the road. That was going to be a new adventure for me!
I prayed quite a bit ahead of time to know I would stay on the “proper side of the road,” as one Brit reminded me. Others from the US had done it successfully, I was told, so I could too, I decided. God is always in the driver’s seat, I affirmed.
So, after my wife Kathy and I landed at the Manchester airport, I had my first opportunity to put my prayer into practice. Out onto the M6 Motorway I drove, and Whoa! It was crowded, like rush hour traffic in the US. It wasn’t exactly how I had hoped to begin my training. But God had me prepared, I remembered.
“Stay on the left side of the road. Stay on the left side of the road.” I kept mumbling to myself. It helped! I needed the reminder. After driving on the right side for decades, and then learning to do it oppositely takes conscious effort.
As I successfully navigated my way south to Sutton-Coldfield which is west of Birmingham, I rejoiced in staying in the correct lane, not getting honked at and keeping my composure. It took a lot of concentration on my part, though, to stay focused, and not revert into old habits that were contrary to UK rules of the road.
As I was driving, and assiduously paying attention to coursing down the proper lane, I thought about how the same diligence and attention is required in other areas of our lives when we need to make radical changes.
Perhaps, we need to break a bad habit, treat others more kindly, be less lazy, exercise more discipline, or demonstrate more faith in God. If we’re well rehearsed living one way, and need to live to the contrary, it may not be a little thing to make the switch. It may take intense concentration, effort and diligence to be successful.
Like my driving on the left side of the road, I couldn’t take the responsibility lightly. To succeed, I had to put in extra effort and due diligence to reverse time-honored patterns, adopt the new, and remain faithful. No exceptions! The rules of the road are unforgiving. Obedience is required.
God rules the universe with spiritual law. To receive the blessing of these laws, obedience to them is required. There is no allowance for slackers.
So, if you need to “drive on the left side of the road today,” when you’ve been accustomed to driving on the right, fear not! You can do it. God gives you the attention, understanding, ability and concentration needed to be successful in your new effort.