• Jim Farrell

I'm Learning to Drive Again

I learned to drive the first time when I was 16. Took Driver’s Ed in high school, and passed the test the first time. Well, I’m learning to drive again, this time hauling a 39 ft. fifth wheel. Along with the Ram Truck as the towing vehicle, we are now 56 ft. long and 26,600 lbs. on the road. O my, it’s a whole new (and sometimes scary) experience!

In Texas, hauling over 26,000 lbs. requires a non-CDL, Class A driving license, which necessitates passing both a written and a driving road test. It was interesting to be studying again for a test. Well, I squeaked by, passing the required minimum percentage of 20 random questions from chapters 14 and 6 of the Texas CDL Handbook. The driving test happened two weeks later in Fredericksburg, TX, where the tester required me to parallel park the rig, back it up 100 ft., and safely drive on the highway around Fredericksburg. I passed!

There have been numerous times driving (almost daily) that I can hardly believe that I’m doing this. It’s almost 40 ft long for crying out loud! I’ve maneuvered through two state parks that were not made for these rigs. (We didn’t stay at the last one because we just couldn’t fit! Found that out the hard way!) But, we’ve been doing it: driving, hauling, parking, backing into places, pulling through places, going through cities, and turning around after not finding a suitable gas station—that means one with sufficient clearances, etc. (Ask Kathy about going through Austin, TX at morning rush hour, and the time we had to turn around on a country road!)

Bottom line: I asked the Lord to give me knowledge, grace, wisdom, and skill to be able to do what I could not do, and never imagined that I would do. And God has and is answering my request. Thank you, God! I continue to pray to be alert, to be smart, to not get cocky, and to always welcome instruction.

When God told His people “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you, I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10) God meant for those words to apply across the totality of life and not just for preparing a sermon, preaching a sermon, leading worship, teaching a bible study, or leading a church meeting. Beloved, we spiritualize God’s word way too much, to the point that it loses its connection to the everyday stuff of life, and yes, retirement.

I’m learning to drive again by God’s strength, God’s help, and God’s holding. Hallelujah! Please remember that as you go along the way of life, doing whatever it is that you do every day. Call out to the Lord. Don’t be afraid to do what you’ve never done before. God is right there to strengthen, help, and hold!

…and the journey continues,

Pastor Jim

Returning from Fredericksburg after passing the driving test! YeeHaw!

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