I have a 15 and a half year old in the house, who hangs around with a group of guys that are all a year older than him, so guess what he is excited for? Yep! Turning 16 and have the ability to get his driver’s permit. I love that he has this new found freedom of taking off with his buddies to travel around the city, but he is anxious to be the one doing the driving, not being the in the passenger’s seat.
One night, I let him drive home from his high school, which is about three kilometers away from our home. He was excited to get behind the wheel and have the power of the automobile in his own hands for once.
As he adjusted the seat to get comfortable behind the wheel, I showed him where the windshield wipers were, the high and low beams of the headlights, the signal lights and reminded him of which was the gas and then I had to sit back and relaxed as I gave the responsibility of my vehicle over to my almost 16 year old male brain.
He put the car in drive and off we went. His foot was a bit heavy on the gas at first, but he quickly adjusted to the pressure that was needed under his foot to make the car ride smooth and not jerky. I immediately felt comfortable with his ease of learning and quick adjustments he was making as he cruised along.
The first 1500 meters was a success. He was even driving in winter conditions and was braking in lots of time to take into account the icy roads. I was very impressed with his natural ability to navigate this vehicle.
Then the first 90 degree turn was upon us and he was exiting the school parking lot merging onto the actual road. He misjudged the turn, and was quickly catapulting the car straight into an icy snowbank. Without any anxiousness in my body language, I swiftly reached over and gave the steering wheel a quick jerk and in an instant he was quickly back on course.
After this, he met his first car, and was driving like a pro at the wheel. We were rapidly coming upon the next 90 degree turn, where there was a car waiting to turn at the stop sign. I left the turning up to him and this time, he mastered it with ease. I praised his improvement and he had only about 100 meters to go before we were upon our street.
He turned on the signal light to turn right onto our street and was taking his next 90 degree turn. He let off of the gas, and slowed down to take the turn like he done it 100 times. As he made the turn, and thought he was on track to give the car some gas, his foot was once again a bit heavy on the gas and the car went flying at a 45 degree angle across both lanes of the road. As he miss judged the turn, and the speed of the car was upon him, he quickly applied the brake, and asked if I would drive the last 500 meters to our home.
Of course, I gladly changed places with him, but you know what? I truly admired his behavior. Why? I admired him for taking the risk of driving, and doing so wonderful for his first time. I also admired his knowledge to know when he had enough, and to ask me to drive the rest of the way. All while remaining very calm on both ends of the experience.
How many adults are behind their own wheel of life and are driving through this Universe, just like my son? Really, we are all new drivers to this Universe, are we not? Some of us are too scared to go after what we want in this world, but not my son. How many of us give our lives too much gas and end up somewhere we shouldn’t be? I know I have. How many of us hit the brakes in our lives when we shouldn’t have? I know I have. How many of us don’t take a sharp enough turn and turn right into those lurking snowbanks of life that get us stuck where we are? I know I have.
Our brakes are our fears that hold us back from our divine destiny. We have to let these fears go. Our turns are the choices that we make that we probably shouldn’t have taken. We’ve all made choices that we aren’t proud of, but let this shame and guilt go and learn to forgive yourself. Luckily for my son, I was calmly sitting in the passenger seat, guiding him and reinforcing his actions the entire way, until he finally had enough and asked me to take the wheel. Even though he was doing fine, he relaxed and let me take over, and that takes a lot of intelligence.
A Course in Miracles says, “It’s not up to you what you learn, but only whether you learn through joy or through pain.” My son decided to learn through joy, and not through the pain of driving into a snowbank. We are all put on this Earth for our souls to learn through this human experience. It’s up to us whether we want to learn it through the joy of the spiritual world, or whether we want to learn it through the pain of the real world.
Fortunately for all of us, we have the same luxury as my son! Just like my hand quickly grabbing the steering wheel and in the blink of an eye giving it a quick jerk to help my son get back on course that is what my Universal Passenger does for me. You can easily say, “Universe, take the wheel” and the higher power in this universe will take over. Call him God, the Tao, Buddha, the Divine or whatever you are comfortable calling him. As soon as you put your faith in this Divine power, and know that he is calmly waiting for you in the passenger’s seat to ask him to drive you the rest of the way home, he will. He will put your life on a cruise control that you never knew was possible. You never have to take the wheel ever again. Just sit back, relax, and let what is going to happen– happen. Life has its divine design, and we just have to figure out how to trust in someone else in the driver’s seat.
This is one life experience that I will always cherish between my son and I. I love how when he knew he had enough, he asked for help. That is my job. That is why I’m here for him. My wish is that everyone will do the same with our Divine Creator. He really has everything orchestrated in our lives all for our learning pleasure. Why try to crash into those snowbanks that are lurking around every corner. Just let him take the wheel and watch how smooth the drive home is!