by Brandy Webb
Oh, to be sixteen again… We celebrated my daughter’s sixteenth birthday a few weeks ago. Honestly, I can’t believe that I am actually old enough to have a sixteen year old. I also am completely at a loss to how time has gone by so fast. My daughter now has a license to drive, and I am working on a license of trust and faith.
I can remember this huge “rite of passage.” It was so freeing to be able to drive myself places, and it made me feel very grown-up, which makes me laugh now that I am an adult. Now, I wish I could hit the pause button on life and not get anymore grown-up. However, I can’t. Thus, I have to accept that I now watch my children grow up from babes, to toddlers, to kids, now teenager, and so on. God willing, I will receive the gift of growing old while watching my children grow up.
I wonder what it is like for God to watch us grow up. What does it feel like to Him when we hurdle those “rites of passages” in life? How hard is it for Him to not interfere when He sees us veering off the path? He, unlike us, actually has the ability to change our direction, change who we are, etc., but He holds back and lets us make our own choices. He may give us “road signs” to aid our walk, but He lets us have free choice. It is this truth that I am trying to really learn to follow while raising my own children.
It is really hard to let my daughter drive by herself. However, it is also a blessing because I am now not having to chauffer her to places. I have to let her grow up and be responsible for her own actions and choices. My husband and I definitely advise her, but the bottom line is, it all boils down to her own free will of whether or not she listens to us. And I realize that this is how God treats us.
We have His Word to guide and direct us, but He will not force us to listen to it. His Word can be “a lamp to our feet and guide to our path” (Psalm 119:105) if we choose to listen to it and live by it. But it is our choice to decide whether or not we are going to “drive” in the direction that He wants us to go. God has given us all the freedom to have a “license to drive,” meaning our free will. We can use this to choose to be wise and to put our trust in Him with all our hearts, and to not lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). When we do this and acknowledge Him in everything we do, He will make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:6).
I don’t know about you, but I like driving down straight roads more than bumpy and curvy ones. Therefore, I am going to strive to live by God’s Word. I may have a “license to drive,” but that doesn’t mean I have a license to do whatever I want. I also hope that my example will aid my daughter, so that she makes good choices while being “independent.”