COLUMBIA, SC (BP) – "I already know, Dad."
I had my doubts over the confidence that my oldest son exuded as he took the car keys from me.
He put the car in drive and sped off entirely too fast.
A lot of thoughts flowed through my mind:
-- "I wish I was 15 years old again so that I would already know everything."
-- "You may know everything, but I've got 25 years of experience on you."
-- "If the DMV signed off on you after only 20 minutes, they should be required to ride with you the next six months, not me!"
It's funny how things come full circle.
It seems like just yesterday I was giving the same instructions to my own father when I was 15.
With an eye roll and a sigh of disgust, I would listen to instructions that I already knew, like checking my blind spot and not going backwards when I wasn't looking in that direction.
My dad told me once, "I know that you are 15 and already know everything, but give me the pleasure of pretending like I'm teaching you something and just listen."
Your heavenly Father knows just how you feel, Dad: "If my people would only listen to Me, if Israel would only follow My ways" (Psalm 81:3).
You may be a religious straight-A student who has heard all the Bible stories -- with Bible drill medals to prove it. God may be attempting to speak to you through others and His Word about your brokenness, but you are reluctant to listen to Him and do what He says. Maybe He is trying to get your attention to get behind the wheel, take a risk and share hope with your neighbor.
What else has God got to do to get your attention?
"Dad, I hit a tree."
Now before you go feeling sorry for him, the tree had been in the same place for the past 50 years. It was in just the right spot where a 15-year-old who wasn't looking behind would back right into it.
I like to think my heavenly Father planted it there to remind my son that maybe his earthly father may still know a few more things than he does (and also as a catalyst to get his first job to pay for a dented tailgate).
Maybe it was planted there as a reminder to warn all of us: "Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge" (Proverbs 19:27). God has planted an abundance of divine counsel so that we may be "like a tree planted by streams of water, which yield its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither" (Psalm 1:3).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lee Clamp, team leader of evangelism for the South Carolina Baptist Convention, is online at @leeclamp and www.facebook.com/leeclamp.