Jan. 2 was my youngest daughter’s long-awaited road test for her driver’s license. This was our third try. They say, “The third time’s a charm,” but, of course, Christians have to do with God, not charms.
The first time at the DMV, we had taken my parents’ car, thinking their old Corolla would be easier to maneuver. To our surprise, we learned upon opening the glove compartment that their registration had expired, a fact that I shared with my father for his edification when returning his vehicle—sans new driver’s license.
The second attempt was foiled when my daughter, after executing a brilliant parallel parking job at the start of her examination, made a right turn rather than the left that the instructor had commanded, then sealed her fate by pulling up a few inches over the white line at an intersection.
Evidently, road-testing slots are as rare as hen’s teeth, because we had to wait months between opportunities. Therefore it was with mounting excitement that we arrived at the emphatically circled date of Jan. 2 of the year of our Lord 2014, 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
Then, just as we were setting out to finally bag that elusive laminated and photo-bearing, wallet-sheathed emblem of authority to navigate the roads—we couldn’t find the car keys.
By the time we located them, we were a half-hour late for our date at the orange cone-cordoned testing lanes. A man with a clipboard approached and asked, “Name?” We replied, “Seu.” He seemed to study his notes for a moment, in which I was planning to hold my peace and hope he wouldn’t notice a discrepancy. It was my daughter who spoke up and said, “We’re late. I’m sorry.”
The clipboard holder, still looking at his paper and appearing to jot a note, said, “Late. Told the truth.” I was amazed. And at that moment, I felt that more was being tested in us that day than competence with the handling of an automobile. God was conducting His own test (Psalm 66:10).
My husband likes to say it is important to tell the truth because God cannot work with a lie, only with the truth. He does not mean God is unable to weave all things, good and bad, into His kingdom building plan. But because God is truth, in a way too high for our human understanding, our speaking of truth aligns us with Him in a mysterious way that invites and releases his grace. In the same way, the speaking of lies aligns us with Satan, for the same logical reason that Satan is the father of lies.
If we want to know the blessings of God’s kingdom, let us operate within the principles of that kingdom.