My heart was racing as I sat before the screen, staring at the multiple choice answers and wondering whether my calculated guess as to what the road sign meant was enough. Thirty five questions, twenty eight correct answers needed for me to pass the Illinois driving theory test and I was struggling. I had even done some revision, but clearly not enough in my complacent foolishness.
Thankfully, I scraped through with one wrong answer to spare. And praised God that the practical test was simply a drive around the block with an examiner who wanted to talk all things England. As I walked out of the test centre, after several hours of queuing, admin and tests, I breathed an audible sigh of relief. I was back on the road, with no bikes or trailers involved.
The last three weeks had been spent walking past the car, rather than jumping in it. Due to insurance and administrative issues, I was unable to drive and so we had an unexpectedly home-bound first few weeks back. No bad thing considering we had just spent eight weeks on the road, but also a huge inconvenience when life has to happen and my driving husband is away with work.
The way in which people helped us during this time was amazing. A car pool of people from the church family, and kind neighbours in the mix as well. One friend didn’t even wait to be asked, but just turned up to take us to school. Another dropped groceries off on the doorstep, and plenty more drove us from one place to the next. What a blessing.
And what a humbling experience of being utterly dependent on others. As someone who often prides themselves on being a self-sufficient adventurer, this was a pride-flattening time as I had to ask for help to do the simplest of daily tasks, and quickly accepted any offer of help that came my way.
It’s tiring having to plan the logistics of life days before you need to go to the supermarket or pick up children from school, but I think it has been a good position from which to start this new semester of American life.
Humbled, dependent on others, and with very little to boast in on my own.
This posture reminded me of my greater need for the one who gives me everything when I clearly have nothing. Jesus says that the ‘blessed’ person is the one who is ‘poor in spirit’ because they are those who receive the ‘kingdom to heaven’. Blessed are those who see their need, know they’re spiritually bankrupt and ask for help from the author of life himself. Humbled, no reason for pride, and utterly dependent. And from this position, we are best able to receive the abundant, generous and ongoing grace of Jesus himself.
Dependent on others to travel, but ultimately dependent on God for life now and on into eternity.
Dependent, and tethered to the cross through which I gain all that I need.
Dependent, irrespective of whether I teach others the Bible, host a podcast and appear to be more capable than I am.
Dependent, now and always, and graciously provided for in every way by Jesus.
I’m praying that I wouldn’t forget that feeling of being helpless that came with being unable to drive, and that it would cause my heart to be ‘poor in spirit’ and so to delight in what I have and who I am in Christ.