Posts Tagged ‘licensing’

Today, I share an anecdote (intended to serve like a parable) cautioning believers to focus upon the meaning, purpose, divine content, and spiritual value of human events, rather than their appearance, fashion, and form.  Some of our most difficult and necessary life lessons as Christian believers come to us in the appearance of day to day life experience.

THE BATTLE AXE:  On Youth Doing Enough (02/06/2014)—Like other young people dwelling in the earth, Christian youth all will face challenges, disappointments, times of uncertainty, and “growing pains.”  Yet, they will be continually supplied with tools from GOD that make possible lasting victory over confusion, fear, frustration, and weakness.  While growth, learning and preparation to serve will be a shared duty throughout the entire experience for those who are followers of Christ, new believers and youth often must be given added encouragement and support suited to their levels of maturity and understanding.  So to speak, the eternal life of a believer begins at their baptism; and there is only one truth for all the children of GOD, no matter what their ages.  Even so, genuine authority vested in children often is not properly acknowledged and obeyed without conflict, and unpleasantness.  Moreover, those in such roles as apprentices, beginners, disciples, and students often require added guidance, nourishment, and support.  Usually, minor children, teenagers, and young adults are not called to perform independently or without adult supervision in the vital offices and work whereby congregations and faith communities are initiated, organized, and maintained as worship assemblies.  Within a body of believers, consecration, intercession, pastoral counseling, and many other sacred tasks require continuous and full-time attention that would result in imbalance for young people still in stages of development that are not yet stable and complete.  Scripture reports that, at twelve years old (the age of bar mitzvah), Jesus was eager to begin service to GOD the Father when he visited the Temple at Jerusalem.  However, the Lord had to practice restraint and self-discipline until the time year later that was appointed for his appearing in public ministry.  See again, Luke 2:  40-52, King James Version.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also:  knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die:  yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  (Romans 5:  1-10, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  That We Might Know (01/07/2014); Unguarded Chocolates? (11/07/2013); Jesus Rose? (11/08/2013); Why Jesus Used Parables (11/03/2013); Denying Baptism to Others (11/04/2013); Issues for Children’s Church? (04/06/2013); Outgrowing Childhood Prayers? (04/07/2013); GOD in Schools? (12/20/2012); Naaman the Leper (12/21/2012)

Yesterday, I shared an anecdote with my neighbor and his visiting friend.  A question came up regarding companies that provide automobile insurance, and the discounted costs their customers must receive.  I talked about my time as a driving instructor, here, in the District of Columbia.  I could not find work at that time in my chosen fields of management consulting and college level teaching, so I decided I would put pride aside, and respond to a newspaper advertisement for teachers at a driving school in nearby Silver Springs, Maryland.  My older sister had worked for this same firm, and I was sure it would be a solution for me, at least for a short while.

The company advertised that it would provide training to licensed drivers.  Having eight years as a licensed vehicle operator (and miscellaneous experience behind the wheel as a “renegade”), I was given two in-vehicle orientation sessions (in a car filled with four other instructor candidates), and challenged to apply for an instructors permit in the District of Columbia.  This meant taking the same written test given to new license applicants (that I aced), and passing a commercial driver’s “road test” (the same one—Oh happy day!—given to beginners).

Much to my surprise, I flunked the first road test, and was embarrassed.  I flunked the second, and was shocked.  I flunked the same test a third time, and began to panic (that the license I already had would be revoked; and I would not be accounted as fit for the necessary job).  Upon taking the test the fourth time, I realized that this was the “training” new drivers were to receive.  I was shown that I had become comfortable driving by feeling, habit, and instinct; and I was not relying upon knowledge and a commitment to safe driving.  Like others in the driving public at large, I conformed to patterns of the cohort (groups of cars moving at the same speed, and in the same direction).  I was not responding correctly to the markers (on the ground), the signals (electronic indicators), and signs (postings above ground).  I passed the test, understanding that I had become aware of every mistake that beginning drivers usually make.

On one occasion, I was dispatched to the home of a new driver, whom I was told was an older person who wanted only a few lessons that would fit her for an already scheduled road test.  When I arrived to her home for her first lesson, she opened her door, and fainted.  I was stunned!  I did not know what to do.  She fell against the door, shutting the door in my face.  I thought she might be dead from a heart attack!  At first I hesitated—I did not want to have to touch a cadaver—and I was sure, if I opened her door, I would be liable for breaking and entering (a person can end up in trouble for trying to help somebody!)  Finally, I decided I should check and see, and perhaps call for help.  Somewhat revived, she insisted she be given her one hour lesson.  So, on our way to the car, and before she could step completely out of her door, she fainted again—this time, into my arms!  I was stunned at the thought of what it looked like—me, with my hands and arms all over this woman on her front porch, and in her doorway!  Scandalous!

This lady insisted (who had only a learner’s permit) it was her right to take the city’s exam, and that I prepare her for her coming road test.  She introduced me to her husband (and insisted he be allowed in the car as her passenger during her lessons).  So, I decided I would spend the hour parked in front of her home describing the features of the vehicle, and the startup procedure.  No, no, no, no, no, no!  We must go out on the street; surely, the two steering wheels and dual brake system were all she would need for safety!  Reluctantly, I  submitted; and we went out to intersection at the end of the block (that happened to be one of the major arteries of the city).  Turning into a safe position, I told her to merely guide the car in it’s lane.  However, being in the left-most lane, when she saw the oncoming traffic, she threw up her hands, and covered her eyes.  I went off!  What are you doing!  Don’t you ever take your hands off the steering wheel!  How dare you cover your eyes when you are the driver of the car!

Thinking that, I have to accept my responsibility to my company, I figured I must acknowledge:  We are in this for the money!  After two or three sessions (she refused to pay for more), she legitimately insisted we assist her in taking the road test by escorting her to her appointment.  I counseled her that she was not ready.  Again, she insisted that she had a right to try, and to do her best. 

Once in a second vehicle with the examiner (one owned by the school I work for, however, not having the dual brakes and steering systems), the examiner directed her to start the vehicle, go up the ramp to the street, and make a left turn onto the thoroughfare.  I had been careful to caution this student that most beginners flunk their test at this very point.  Two stops are required:  one before entering or crossing the pedestrian lane (the sidewalk), and one before entering the vehicle traffic lane (the street).  By these two stops, the speed of ones vehicle is controlled, and the likelihood of collision is reduced.

To my surprise, this student acknowledged both these necessary cautions.  Even so, she flunked her test; and the examiner (the same one who had been my “instructor”) came down on me like a ton of bricks.  Mr. Jackson returned the vehicle to the test lot in less than 45 seconds!  Her left turn had been into the oncoming traffic lane, and she had exposed them both to the most fatal form of automobile casualty—head on collision!  Officer Jackson exploded on me:  How dare you put my life, the property and lives of others at risk!  How dare you bring this person here, knowing she was not ready, or able to safely compete the road test!  He was right, and I felt like dirt.

Just as the mechanics and processes of driving a car requires more than the application of feeling, instinct and intuition, becoming and serving as a mature Christian believer requires more than arrogance, audacity, presumption, and self-confidence.  Believers must be instructed in and practice divine truth as provided through the sacred writings, the performance of sacraments, and the pronouncements of fellow believers continuing with us in fellowship.  To teach beginners, believers all must think like beginners, yet, not continue in the errors of starting believers.  Also, experienced believers must be prepared to accept that all are not on their same level; and no one has a right to have more and receive more of the things given by GOD simply because they have desire or need.  More important are balance, commitment, contrition, conviction, faith, integrity, meekness, sobriety, and trust.

There is far more to be said, properly shared, and spiritually understood.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.  (Proverbs 21:  21, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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