New car (part 2) (21-09-2021)
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. (Psalm 37:7-9)
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:9-12)
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3-6)
On 22nd June I wrote about our new car and the difficulties I was having adapting to driving a manual car after years of driving an automatic. Well 3 months have now passed and I have driven the car over 2000 miles and yet still I do not find changing gear to be a natural thing to do, I’m still having to think nearly every time that I approach a junction or a roundabout or a set of traffic lights about what gear I am in and what gear I should be in. There are occasions when it feels natural but most of the time it does not. Some days I get quite frustrated with myself as I expect it to be easier, I expect by now to have become expert in driving a manual car.
It may be that I am being too hard on myself. You may well have heard of the theory that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become expert in something. That means that if you are doing something for 10 hours a week, it will take you 20 years to get to expert level. I reckon that in an average week I drive for about 5 hours, so it shouldn’t take me much more than 40 years to become an expert! 10,000 hours of practice is a very long time.
In our journey of faith we sometimes are unrealistic with ourselves about what we should be able to achieve. We feel that we should know our bible better, be able to pray better, or simply be better, more holy people. All these things take time and practice and we need to learn to be more patient with ourselves and kinder to ourselves when we struggle or we fail to achieve what we feel we should. Every day God is working by his spirit in us to make us more like him. This is not an overnight change and it may take more than 10,000 hours to achieve the result. In the meantime, we need to be patient, we need to trust that God has got it all in hand and that he is working within us.
Father God, we thank you that the good work that you have started in changing us will be carried on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Help us to be patient as we wait upon you.