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Trying to Navigate Your Faith?
by Pastor Chris Bonis
I remember this truth from my own driving experience, which was brought back vividly in my recollection as I sat in the passenger seat as my son, and most recently, my daughter learned to drive. I had just gotten my license, when a friend loaned me his car so I could leave work and register for my High School classes. It was a V-8 with a standard transmission. I had learned on an automatic, but sure, I had seen others drive a stick and figured it was only driving after all. After stalling 3 times I finally got on my way. Once I got into 5th gear I didn't want to shift down for anything because of the uncomfortable jerking sensations that pulsated through the car and my neck. There was also the sound of rubber, being left on the roadway as the engine revved and the tires spun more quickly than they probably should have for the speed I was going.

I was out of my comfort zone and too proud (and scared) to admit I didn't really know how to drive a standard. I got back to work, safely and on time, with no harm to the car, but I determined to learn what driving a stick was all about and to be competent myself to do it. 

Faith can be like this. With years of association with churches or friends who talk about God, we can easily think that we know what it's all about, or begin to feel comfortable even being in church. We can begin to identify ourselves as people who are "christians" because of these associations, or perhaps dismiss them - but beware. When the "rubber meets the road" so to speak, and the reality of our faith is tested, either in this life or the life to come (ultimately), we may suddenly be faced with the reality that we may know "about" faith, but we actually lack any true faith of our own. The years of observing other's faith or even sitting in a church will fail to meet our needs when the realities of life put us in a place where a true and personal faith is needed and even required. 

Relationships, marriages, work, parenting, school, peers, choices, finances and ultimately, matters of life and death all require and benefit from our having the necessary skills, tools and experiences that are found within a personal faith relationship with the One who created and established the foundations for all these relationships in the first place. God created people for relationships, but how often have we experienced friction and problems there, much like stalling the car or grinding the gears as we try to move forward? It doesn't work very well, and yet we can often find ourselves afraid, unsure or too proud to admit we don't know what to do as we continue to bluff our way through and hope that something will work itself out.

God has provided the means for us to be better equipped to deal with all that life brings, from relationships to choices to questions of life and death. There is no shortcut though. There is no "online" course to teach the practical skills necessary for life. It is life-on-life training, experiential learning that begins as you acknowledge that you don't know, you don't have the answers to life and recognize your need. That's where God wants to meet you through His Son, Jesus Christ.  He is the only One certified to equip you, to license you and to ultimately examine you in matters of life and eternity. That's what He prepares us for and He continues to walk alongside us as we continue to grow and learn and apply His instructions. Eternity is also the only test, where having Jesus as Our instructor ensures that we will pass, because our examiner will only recognize Him. How much simpler could He make it? It's a comforting thought that our success for eternity can be assurred through our relationship with the One who already has supplied everything we need. 

Like driving, once we have our license, the roadway can be long, slippery and sometimes hazardous, but Jesus chooses to continue to remain our guide and instructor as we navigate our way. He has made a manual available to us - the Bible. There need not be any doubt as to our success in ultimately reaching the destination and the outcome of our lives. If you still have any doubts, or even questions about your faith or relationship with God, send me an email. I would love the opportunity to interact with you.

My daughter takes her driving road test in three weeks. I wonder what her outcome will be?

 

What about you?

   Pastor Chris