Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Practice makes...Purified

Last week my teenaged sons went to the DMV to take the written test for their driving permits. One of them got his the first time he took the exam, with exactly enough correct answers. The other studied, took it twice and missed by only a few. Neither one of them can drive without their Dad having heart palpitations and contemplating reverting to horse drawn buggies.For the next year or so they'll get the chance to practice. And by the time their permits expire, they'll be perfect drivers and everyone on the roads will be safe.Right? I don't know about you, but from my blind side of the car, it's not safe out there.I was a horrible driver when I could see and super lucky when I drove with impaired vision.Yes...I drove half blind. The good news is I don't drive at all anymore. I learned something.I think that's the purpose of practice. Not so we become perfect drivers before we turn ourselves or our kids loose on the roads and highways, but so that we become smarter driver's by practicing. The tragic truth is that we crash, total vehicles, hurt ourselves...and others sometimes, and we become purified, not perfected.When I took my driver's test. I passed the written with flying colors. It took me three tries to pass the driving portion. I've been in a half dozen accidents, driven in New York City, California, and my little hometown with the same results. I learned, wrecked cars, got injured and eventually lost my drivers license. I've hit other cars, been hit by other drivers, been run down as a pedestrian, got lost in The Bronx...at night and ended up with a road sign on top of my truck.I'm a much better driver now, because I don't drive. My driving skills have significantly improved. I don't crash. I don't hurt myself or others and I don't make mistakes with a 2 ton chunk of deadly metal.The saying goes that life is a highway, so lets put our driving skills to work in our road back to Heavenly Father. We're so busy trying to be perfect drivers that we forget to be purified people. Perfection isn't the goal. Safety, happiness, travel and reaching our destination is what matters. Does it matter how you get there? You bet it does. Its the trip you take that makes the memories. Maybe you started out just hoping you'd get across town and ended up in a ditch somewhere instead. You haven't failed. You're never going to cross town again, or you're just going to do a better job next time?The desire for perfection is an empty pursuit and only ends in heartache. Instead work towards purification. The ability to react calmly when the road gets rough. The ability to pull off the side of the road when the weather is too dangerous. The work faith and humility to wreck, put things back together, heal and try again. You may not be the greatest driver in the end. You may end up like me, just satisfied not to be causing accidents. Either way, you're better and so is the road around you.

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