As a boy growing up in America in the 1960s, things with wheels fascinated me. Bicycles were my first set of wheels followed by a go-kart, a mini-bike and then at about age 14, I realized the possibility of driving a car. I couldn’t legally drive alone until age 16. At 15 ½ I could get a learner’s permit to drive on the city streets, but I had to have an adult with me whenever I was behind the wheel. Then a plan hatched in my anxious mind.
At age 14, I asked my dad if I could “warm up the car” by backing it out of the garage into the driveway before each family outing. I took me about 10 minutes to complete the backing up process because the time behind the wheel was precious. My dad knew what was up and said yes with a smile. For the next 18 months, every time I backed the car out of the garage I felt the approaching sense of something called manhood.
Finally, I got my learner’s permit about the same time I was done with Driver’s Education at school. For the next 6 months, I learned how to drive in the real world. The day came when I got my real driver’s license. As soon as I got home, I hit my dad up for the keys to our family Oldsmobile 98 to take my first solo drive. My little brother, Dwain, went with me. I had a mission to slow-drive past Gloria’s house, the girl I was infatuated with at the time. On about the 5th pass in front of her house, the magic happened. She saw my beaming face pass by from behind the steering wheel of the family Olds. I had arrived.
I was thinking about the wisdom of my earthly father and the parallels to the wisdom of our Heavenly Father. Some of the stuff of life comes in stages where trust is built and released over time and exposure. For years my father watched me ride bikes, go-karts, mini-bikes, backing out the Oldsmobile without leaving a dent all the while observing my respect for the privilege of driving. He could trust me with each step in my process of maturity.
Many of us have lived our lives with our eyes fixed on the horizon of something like the fulfillment of a dream or a calling. These horizons are not approached in a day or a week. They are a passage over time. Some horizons are years and even decades away. It would have been crazy to think my dad would have tossed me the keys to the family car when I was just learning how to ride my first bike with the training wheels still attached.
If you have grown impatient with the God-process you are currently walking through, don’t. Give God time to do something in you that will prepare you not only to fulfill the desires of your heart but to also become a trusted member of a team and in a larger context, a trusted and proven servant in the Kingdom of God. When God finally tosses you the keys you will experience something wonderful – something that an inpatient life will never know.