I found myself in the Wodonga Police station one January afternoon in 1973. Standing opposite me was an aging Police Sargent, with a very relevant piece of paper in his hand. He looked directly at me and said, “Just because I am giving you this piece of paper, don’t for a moment think you have learned everything about driving a car. Your real learning starts now.” And with that, he handed me my brand new driver’s license.
Boy! Was he right!
It was several months later, driving through a small town in western Victoria, that I did a mountain of learning. I was too comfortable with the speed I was doing and not paying enough attention. I was entering a small town that was nothing more than a whistle-stop. The problem for me was that the road did an abrupt left turn, crossed the railway line and then an abrupt right turn, continuing in its original direction, but now on the south side of the railway line.
I was driving way too fast. I jumped on the brakes and heaved the steering of the old Ford hard left. Suddenly I was looking in the direction we had been traveling and the car was sliding uncontrollably backward. We heard a massive bang and the car began tipping onto its side, as it teetered to a stop.
Amazingly all five of us in the car emerged unscathed. Not a scratch or bruise on anyone of us! The car was balancing on two wheels, a large boulder had jammed into the sill under the doors and prevented the car from rolling. We were able to push the old Ford back onto all four wheels and drive it back onto the road.
The large bang we heard, turned out to be an old Mile Post. An old hardwood post painted white measuring 100mm square. We had hit it with the tow-bar tongue while traveling backward. The tongue was a bit twisted and the post ripped out, but other than a bit of body filler shaken loose, there was no damage to be seen. My old Ford Zephyr went on for many more miles and many more adventures.
Te old Police Sargent was right. In those few seconds, I learned far more about driving, than I ever did leading up to that moment.
The truth is, we learn by doing. Sometimes that learning can be very scary. In everything we do, learning takes more than a lesson, a decision or just the plain determination to give it a go. Learning is a process, that begins with baby steps and often leads to great leaps, which to the uninitiated seem like incredible risks. In reality, they are the steps we have learned through experience, that we can make.
Faith is one of those things. It cannot be taught, but it can be caught. However, it is matured and developed through doing. No one comes to Christ one day and goes and converts heathen tribes the next. We begin taking baby steps o trust. Baby steps quickly become wobbly running and in time with nurture and commitment they can grow into graceful strides We learn by doing and it is always better when someone has our back.
Inside Romans 1:17, are three little words that are often missed in the power of this verse. This verse was a catalyst in the Reformation. Martin Luther was ‘converted by it. ‘The just shall live by faith…’ In this is the realization, that faith is the currency of Heaven. Yet in the shadows of this great truth, are three little words we would all do well to own. They are ‘… faith to faith…’. Yes, faith is the currency of Heaven, but what we skip over is the access to this currency. ‘Faith to Faith.’ From faith and the use of it, faith grows. It begins as a small step. As faith finds its reward, we grow in our confidence and knowledge of God, and the faith that saves us now grows in us. With greater faith, comes greater steps and greater reward. (More faith).
Step out in faith each day. Soon you will be making great strides with Jesus. You will be amazed at how far you can go when you are in Christ.