I have been driving for over 30 years now but I can still remember my first time behind the wheel like it was yesterday. My Mom had driven our big, blue Plymouth to a narrow, deserted back road and parked it. The road was only one lane and had a wall built with old, river rocks along the side of it, but Mom knew there was little chance of meeting any traffic on it that day.
With a smile she gave me the keys and switched seats with me. Then she told me to start the car, put it into drive, and gently push on the gas pedal. In my excitement, though, I miscalculated what gently meant. I pushed on the gas hard, the car sped forward, and before I could turn the wheel I heard the scraping of metal against the stone wall. I stopped the car and looked over at my Mom. Her face was pale and her hands were trembling. Slowly she opened her door and looked at the scratched paint along the side of the car. Then she walked quietly around the car to the driver’s side door. I kept waiting for her to yell at me but she just sighed and said, “Well,that’s enough for today. We’ll try again tomorrow.”
As I look back on that day I am amazed at the amount of kindness and patience my Mom showed me then. I had terrified her, damaged her car, and probably added a thousand gray hairs to her head, yet she forgave me and continued to teach me how to drive. She gave me a wonderful example that day of the love and forgiveness that God has for us all.
In the years that followed I messed up many times in many ways. Often I didn’t feel worthy to be forgiven, but each time I could feel our Heavenly Father’s love around me and could hear my Mom’s gentle voice from Heaven saying, “We’ll try again tomorrow.”
When you stumble and fall today then don’t stay down. Rise up and remember that God loves you. Rise up and share your own love once more. Rise up ready to try again tomorrow.