Driving Again

Control: Medically fit to Drive (August 2020)

Licenced to Drive. I have now been judged medically fit enough to drive and on the day after tomorrow I’ll be behind the wheel for the first time in a year!

It’s been a tough year without independence and with reduced options for work and leisure. Jackie has been excellent. She had previously allowed me to do much of the driving knowing how much it meant to me and over the last year she has successfully taken on all our driving requirements. I trust her completely with my life and regularly sleep safely whilst she takes control.

This has provided me with many opportunities to see things in a new way.

I passed tests for cars and motorcycles 37 years ago aged 17. Like many young drivers I thought I’d done it. I had proved I had all the knowledge I needed to take control for myself. I knew the difference between throttle and brake. As I became more experienced, I became even less focussed on the direction and experience of others, “All right, I’ve already got that! I’m in control now, not you.”

In my early 20’s I recognised that some systems (MSM) were basic, and I realised I had developed some even less reliable and lazy approaches of my own. But I thought I was still a good driver and rider and in control of myself, so put myself forward to train as a motorcycle instructor. (I soon got to OSM PSL -what a lifesaver). At about the same time Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) was introduced.

As a Driving Standards Agency (DSA now DVSA) Instructor I delivered CBT and had to sign off candidates on the training ground before being allowed on the road, as a learner. The more I worked with beginners myself, the more I realised the risks involved and the need for the ongoing learning of Roadcraft.

IAM Roadsmart use Roadcraft. I trained for the Advanced motorcycle test. No, Instructors this time. There were Observers who watched from behind and gave helpful feedback to enable me to develop better systems, observation, road positions… Listening to observers and accepting their direction resulted in an Advanced test pass on the motorcycle.

I felt I should take the same approach with the car and having passed I also completed training to be an accredited Observer myself, to prepare others for the Advanced car test. I should learn more to stay safe in a changing world. Blue badge for commercial vehicles? IAM Masters?

I now recognise the weakness of my younger self when I did not even know the extent of what I did not know.

So much for driving. What about life?

Do we treat God as an Observer of our life? Are we willing to listen to him because we have invited the relationship but know we’re still in control really? Or do we treat him as an Instructor? We do what we should because we realise, He does know best and to be honest, we need to listen based on our desperate starting point.

Or will we trust God to take control of our life’s journey? Can we, should we, put aside what we think we know? Is God our Observer, Instructor, or trusted controller of our life?

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:5-8 NIV UK)

On our Christian journey, we do need a mirror check before manoeuvre, to walk as Jesus did.

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