LEARNING TO DRIVE

Learning to drive is a rite of passage. It is a period in your life where uncharted roads are opened to journey upon them. It’s independence. For teenagers, driving is freedom to come and go, without supervision. For other individuals, a privilege to abandon the dependency of others or public transportation to travel.

For any age, to obtain this power, a learning process must be completed. It may include, but not limited to:

  • Learning the Rules of the Road
  • Obtaining a Learner’s Permit
  • Practicing with experienced drivers
  • Conquering the driving test
  • Scoring a driver’s license.

Did you receive your driver’s license on the first try? Did it take more than one attempt? If you failed, it was an emotional and mental blow. The failure was not to destroy you, but to encourage you to study harder, correct the wrong actions, and try again.

Life is like driving. Going to college, starting a new job, starting a family, beginning a new business, moving to a new location, or any other rite of passage, there will be a learning process.

Using the learning to drive analogy, let’s compare to general life events.

  • Learning the Rules of the Road. Equate that to researching, studying and learning whatever venture you want to complete. Study all components on your quest and learn what challenges you have ahead.
  • Obtaining a learner’s permit. Getting prepared, may be allocating money or time; or mustering the courage, or the will to complete your venture.
  • Practicing with experienced drivers can compare to talking to people who have successfully completed what you want to do. Get an inside perspective. Don’t talk to people who do not know or people who are content in remaining at the stage they are in. They may discourage you.
  • Conquering the driving test. Correlate this step with the stage that you have your ducks in a role. All the stars are aligned. You have everything needed to achieve your goal. For example, if you wanted to go back to school, full time, maybe you just completed one or two courses with great success. Or, if you wanted to relocate, maybe you just saved enough money for the journey. This is the last big test. The time to use all the knowledge learned; apply the resources obtained; and perform all of the abilities mastered.
  • Scoring a driver’s license is the equivalence of accomplishing your dream.

This post may be an oversimplification of reaching an ultimate goal.  However, it can be a start and a guide. Today, too many people just leap into a situation and fail miserably and wonder why. They imagine a shiny desire, dripping with glitter, full of golden opportunities, they reach for it and fall because they failed to prepare or plan how to grasp the gold ring.

Before launching into any type of driving type analogies of life, remember 4 truths of life.

  • God is the Ultimate Teacher and He will teach us how to drive in our lives.

Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.  For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. Proverbs 4:1-2 King James Version (KJV)

  • The Holy Bible is our Rules of the Road. It contains the written Word of God for our edification.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16 King James Version (KJV)

  • Wisdom shall get you through any written or road tests of life.

When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. Proverbs 6:22 King James Version (KJV)

  • Faith is your ultimate test that will afford you to go through all the driving analogies of life.

And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. Luke 17:6 King James Version (KJV)

DRIVING DISASTER

You have your driver’s license. Now that there are no prying eyes or reprimanding remarks on your driving skill and you are free to drive alone, sometimes, bad habits are adapted.

  • Allowing too many distractions
  • Driving too fast
  • Overlooking traffic signs or lights
  • Ignoring pedestrian right away
  • Neglecting inclement weather
  • Bogarting the roadways
  • Failing to use defensive driving techniques.

Eventually there will be an accident. It happens to everyone, at least, once in their lives. It’s the law of averages. It may minor or major.

Did you decide to?

  • Never drive again
  • Continuously blame
  • Carry guilt
  • Depend on others for transportation
  • Remain in constant fear
  • Become more of a comprehensive driver

A driving disaster can be correlated with any tribulation, misfortune or grief that occurs in your life. When there are no prying eyes or reprimanding remarks on life and you are free to live your life, have you adapted bad habits? Are you:

  • Allowing too many distractions to stay focused on the new endeavor. Your new job? Relationship? College courses?
  • Living the fast life, making up for lost time? Partying too much? Hang out, at all hours?
  • Overlooking signs that you should make a life change. Or, slow down? Or, in some case accelerate progress?
  • Ignoring wise counsel, when they warn you about your behaviors or actions?
  • Neglecting your surroundings. Befriending the wrong type of people? Hanging out in shady places?
  • Allowing others to dominate you into doing things you don’t want to do? Or, are you intimidating people with your angry, hateful, pushing, guilt-ridden behaviors?
  • Failing to use your defense mechanism to protect ourselves from negative behaviors inflicted by others?

Eventually there will be a trial, tribulation, or unexpected event. It happens to everyone. It may minor or major. Sometimes it is not the grievous action, that occurs, but your reaction to the unfortunate action.

Did you decide to:

  • Never try anything new again.
  • Blame others for the action, never acknowledging your part in the situation.
  • Carry guilt. Condemning yourself. Never forgiving yourself.
  • Depend on others, because it is easy to rely on others. Because if they mess up, you have someone to blame.
  • Remain in constant fear. Too afraid to live life. Always thinking the worse will happen.
  • Become a better you. Realizing in life there will always be things that did not go as planned. Learn from your mistakes and move forward.

If you have adapted bad behaviors and caused a collision in life. Do A.C.C.I D.E.N.T

A- Acknowledge and Accountability. Acknowledge your fault in the situation. Take accountability of your actions.

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16 (KJV)

C-Calm. Do not allow the incident to rob you of your peace.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 King James Version (KJV) 

C-Confidence. Have assurance in God, not yourself. You directions will be clear.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 King James Version (KJV)

I– Integrity. Hold on to your integrity.

God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me. Job 27:5 King James Version (KJV)

D-Devil. Don’t give room for the devil. His purpose is to keep you down. If you are depressed, angry, sad or lost. He will send thoughts and suggestions in your mind to keep you in that stage. Don’t let the devil win.

 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 King James Version (KJV)

E-Encourage. Strengthen yourself in God. This will fill your heart with hope.

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24 King James Version (KJV)

N-Negativity. Navigate away from negative and people. You need to be around positive people who will lift you up, not to keep in in a sea of negativity.

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels. Proverbs 1:5 King James Version (KJV)

T– Trust God, not yourself.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 King James Version (KJV

DIRECTIONS TO YOUR DESTINATION

Now that you have your driver’s license. It’ time to go. Choosing a place to travel is one thing. Do you know how to reach your destination?  Here are some factors that should be incorporated into your plan for reaching your destination.

  • Time. Allow the required time to get to your destination. Make allowances for planned and unplanned stops
  • Distance. How far is your destination? Know the amount of miles required for you to reach your designated point. This factor can assist with the amount of money needed for gas and other expenses.
  • Road blocks. For whatever reason, some roads may be closed off. It can be for a few minutes, or hours. This can slow you down.
  • Construction. The roads may be undergoing a change. Expanding roads, constructing new ramps or any other kind of structure. This too, can impede your advancement.
  • Weather. Rain, snow, ice or anything type of inclement weather should be factored in.
  • Detours. These deviations can throw you off from your planned course. The reasons can vary. You may have made an incorrect turn; got off at the wrong ramp or became confused. You are lost, attempting to get back on track.
  • Accidents. Collisions of vehicle may be minor or major. You may have caused the accident. Or, accidents caused by other people. Either way you are delayed.
  • Drivers. The characteristics of some drivers may vary. Driving too fast, bogarting the road, hopping in and out of lanes are a few. Then, you have the looky loos, texters, and slow pokes. All of these individuals may affect you from reaching your destination.
  • Directional guide. I left this one last. When I am planning a trip, generally this step comes first. These are the step by step instructions to get you to your targeted place.

Some driving directions are known by memory. At times, memories have become foggy, landmarks have changed and streets have been rerouted. With these changes, stubborn drivers will refuse to ask for help and will travel for miles in the wrong direction versus relenting to the concept they are lost.

Other drivers rely on maps or GPS devices to serve destination needs. Maps are pictures, charts, drawings or writings showing the geographical features of an area, i.e., cities, roads, etc.

Today, more people count on a GPS. The Global Positioning System is a navigation device that calculates geographical locations by satellites.

Now that you have a simple guide to reach your driving destination. Can you apply the driving destination to you driving toward a goal in your life? Whatever the goal, keep in mind the 9 items that need to be integrated into your plan.

Time. Make sure you have the time to complete your task. If you think you can complete a 4 year degree in 3 years by taking more classes, that’s great. But do not make sacrifices that are going to keep you stressed and depressed. Sometimes the longest way home is the sweetest way home.

Distance. How far do you want to go? Do you desire a 1 year certificate or a 4 year degree? Do you want a nice apartment or do you want a home. Set your distance on how far you want to go.

Road blocks are life’s stumbling blocks. These are obstacles or hurdles that cause a hindrance. Go around the obstacle and jump over the hurdle.

Construction. Rebuilding your character can assist you on your journey. Changing your behaviors and altering your actions, may be difficult. Things are not happening or not lasting long, with your old approach. It’s time for a new attitude. Stop being you, always pushing everyone to fit in your world. Maybe, it’s time to broaden your world. Build and expand, when necessary

Weather can be equated to your moods, feelings and emotions. Control your emotions. Don’t let them control you.

Detours are your bad decisions. Everyone makes wrong choices, at times. Learn from them. Get back on track.

Accidents are unexpected events. Things happen. The tribulation may have delayed you, but don’t let it stop you.

People. It may be time to change friends, avoid negative people and search for people who want to go on the same journey.

Directional guide. The map is the Holy Bible. The Bible is the written Word of God.  It has the directions and guidance on how to live our daily lives.

Our Spiritual GPS (God’s Personal Spirit) is the Holy Spirt, who calculates our directions and will recalculate if we get off course.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26 King James Version (KJV)

God is Ultimate Satellite orbiting in heaven.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Matthew 6:9 King James Version (KJV)

STUCK IN THE THE RUT OR SETTLING INTO THE MUD

Has your car or vehicle ever been stuck in a rut? What is the first thing you do? You ponder on how you got in the rut. Then, you attempt to get the vehicle out. To free the vehicle, you will yak, pull, tug, twist or turn, or apply any other technique that comes to your mind to free the car.

Apply the stuck in the rut analog with life. The causes why you got stuck in the mud, may be negligence, stubbornness, hardheadedness, pride, disobedience or merely an accident. Your immediate inclination is to get out the rut as soon as possible, and to apply any methods necessary to free yourself. You may need to do some pulling, tugging and turning to get out of your situation.

Settling into the mud is different. Some individuals got stuck in the mud and applied minimal methods to free themselves? In spite of wise counsel, instructions and guidance, they devised their own plans, which caused them to sink deeper into the mud. They tried, but it did not work, they abandoned the concept of deliverance, and settled. They have become complacent and have adapted to everyone else who is in the mud. And, wonder why they don’t feel free.

There are plenty of people who are settling into the mud with relationships, jobs, finances and behaviors, but they are not meditating on devices to be liberated. Why? It’s much easier to complain and do nothing about the situation.

The process begins by identifying if you are stuck in the rut or settling into the mud. For the sake of this post, stuck in the rut, you want out and you are trying to be free. Settling into the mud, you have given up. You’re settling.

  • Look at your situation. Are you where you want to be??
  • Look at the people you spend the most time with, where are they in the scenario above?
  • Are you envious, angry or sadden by individuals who are achieving their goals and living their lives?
  • Identify if there are hidden agendas of why you do not want to get out of the mud? Is there a valid reason? Are you in denial? Are you living in a fantasy created by you? Are hoping for the best and you know it will not happen? Are you doing the same things with the same people and expecting a different outcome? Remember, that is said to be insanity.
  • Are you waiting for someone else to make the move of getting you out of the mud? It is not up to anyone to get you out, but you. God will assist, if you ask for His guidance and obey His directions. Do not depend on others to get you out, because they may be stuck, also.
  • Are you exhausted and tired and have no strength to try anymore. God will grant you strength.
  • Is fear paralyzing you? God will give you courage.

The next 2 posts, You can’t See the Forest from the Trees; Tug of War; will assist, educate and guide you on becoming a better you.

Set a goal, make a plan and apply interventions. If that doesn’t work, go back to the drawing board and try again. Your ultimate goal is to be free. It may take time, but you are working and thinking of innovating ways to get you to  level ground.  Listen to wise counsel, research new ways and don’t give up.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1Amplified Bible (AMP)

CAN’T SEE THE FOREST FROM THE TREES

The New Year begins. Self-reflection stirs. This is the time of the year when many people look back on the previous year. Many will smile and nod, on the goals accomplished, pressing forward to new challenges, to further their destiny.

Others may ponder on the past and realize some achievements were met, while others were not. They begin to devise plans to complete unaccomplished objectives.

Then, there is the group of people who perceives the past with sadness. Considering each month, of the previous year, and discover they are stuck in a rut and wonder why?

Ask the, who, what, when, why, where, and how questions to yourself.

  • How did you get in this rut?
  • What was the chain of events?
  • Where did it occur?
  • Why did it happen?
  • Who played key roles?
  • When did occur?

The truth is, sometimes you don’t realize you’re in a rut, until you do self-reflection, someone tells you, or you notice people of your age group are doing and achieving more than you.

You must return to the scene of the crime. Go back to origin. Of course, self-preservation will kick in. You want to protect yourself from hurt. No one wants to admit or accept the hard reality that nothing has changed for you. After the various excuses have been conjured and the blame game has been played, you remain in the rut. Or, maybe you will beat yourself up for long periods of time, crying, being depressed, playing the should have, could have game. I should have done this, or I could have done that; mulling over all the bad choices made and feeling sorry for yourself. Guess what? You are still in the rut.

Stop the madness. Forgive yourself. Make plans to move forward. Follow the basic steps below, to at least get yourself going.

  • Get help. Ask God for help. I cannot emphasize enough that you can do all things with God on your side. You cannot make this journey alone. You do not need to travel on this venture alone. God will, lead, guide and protect.
  • Concept of change. Things will need to change. You must change. Because your previous way of thinking did not work. Change comes from within. If you refuse to change, you will remain.
  • Get a firm mindset. Set your mind and keep it set. This journey should be more than a verbal commitment it should be a mental agreement.
  • Fear is a key component why people do not change, come out of a rut or do anything challenging. What if I fail? What if it does not work? If God has guided you in the correct direction: You will not fail. And, it will work. You will not know until you try. Stop living in fear. Take the plunge.
  • Comfort zones. Today, people are addicted to comfort and convenience. If anything is outside of the comfort zone, many people will not push beyond their security sector. Nothing outstanding or rewarding will occur living in a restful region. Stir things up.
  • Prepare. Do your research. Get the tools needed. Gather information on your quest. Talk to other people who have taken this journey.
  • Baby steps. Take small steps. Test the water. If it is working, keep going. If not, step back, rework and step out again.
  • Expect roadblocks. Things will happen. Unexpected events will emerge. Expect them. Deal with them. Move forward.  Nothing worth having will ever be problem free.
  • Do not expect all people to cheer you on. If you are leaving people behind in the rut, do not assume they will be happy for you. Misery loves company. Be prepared for guilt trips, anger, snide remarks and departures of friends and family.

Step out of the rut, and put your feet on solid ground and live.

 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19King James Version (KJV)