Question: How long does it take to teach a 10-year-old to drive?
Answer: Under 10 seconds, when you are running over yourself with your own car.
The release handle of our emergency brake wasn’t working, so I quit using it.
I forgot sometimes, though. One morning when I put the van in reverse, it wouldn't budge.
That meant I’d left the emergency brake on.
I was mad because I had to drive my fifth grader Aimee to school.
I jumped out of the van, squatted beside the open door, and probed around under the dashboard, trying to grab the wire to release the brake. But I just couldn't find it and that made me even madder.
After a good deal of trying I finally got that stupid brake to release. The car started rolling backward, and at that moment, I remembered that I had forgotten to put the van in park.
As the right front tire rolled over my foot, I screamed "Aimee! Aimee, put on the brake!’’
The wheel was starting to roll between my legs as Aimee jumped into the driver’s seat and screamed back, "Which pedal is it?"
Fortunately, by that time the van had stopped rolling, with the tire resting against my pelvis. So I changed my demand to, "Put it in drive!"
"Pull the handle down to the 'D.’’
She did, the car rolled forward, and I climbed in to put it in park.
My most embarrassing moment came later that morning when the X-ray technician asked me,
"How did you manage to run over yourself?"
So that day I ran myself over in the morning and didn't even hurt myself badly enough to get out of cooking dinner that evening.
It gave me lots to think about though.
I remember the terror I felt when I realized that what I thought I wanted so badly, was really going to hurt me. In an instant I knew I'd made a bad decision, but I was helpless to change the results of my actions. My van rolled toward me like huge hungry monster.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes the things you covet most are not the best things for you?
You covet a bigger house, but working extra to pay the mortgage robs you of time with your family.
You covet the clothes, furniture, and cars of our friends but you hate the weight of debt and the arguments with your spouse about money.
Somehow you and I honestly think that “More Stuff’’ will make us happy.
Instead we are run over by the demands “More Stuff” makes on our lives. We have to clean it, put it away, make payments on it, and buy an alarm to protect it.
“More Stuff” eats our time and leaves us starving for meaning in life.
Things just can't satisfy our souls.
But we can make changes before the monster of materialism devours our family. We can say "no" to over-spending and choose to be content with what we have. We can enjoy things that don't cost money, like sunsets, walks and reading stories.
We can choose a smaller house, an older car and the chance to spend time, not money, with those we love.
We can call the monster by its name
We can say, "Greed, you're never satisfied and I refuse to continue to feed you! My children are too valuable to sacrifice to you."
If we do, that monster can roll on by without causing any permanent damage.
The last of the Ten Commandments says, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor’’ (Exodus 20:17)
Here’s a prayer for you and me today:
“Lord, teach me to be content with what You have given me – to notice what I have and to thank You while I’m using it. I want to learn to really see and appreciate what You have given me. Amen.’’
© 1998 Sue Cameron used with permission
Reprint with attribution only: https://beckypowers.com/
Teaching a 10-Year-Old to Drive (and Related Lessons): from the Bible Powerline