There are skills that, once we learn them, we take for granted. I have been actively crocheting for about 15 years now. I don’t think about the stitches I work as I create blankets, shawls, and other crafts unless I am following a new pattern. Luckily for me, I can go to YouTube and watch a video demonstration of the stitch I need, and in no time, it becomes a part of my skill set.
The same is true of driving. I can remember how meticulous I was after I got my license. I’d check the rear and side-view mirrors multiple times, adjust the seat, test the brakes, make sure the temperature control was comfortable, turn off the radio, and then slowly back out of the driveway. The preparation for those first few solo drives took minutes as I wanted to make sure everything was just right before I pulled into traffic. Driving through the city was very different from those first few highway ventures. Getting up to speed and merging with traffic that didn’t need to yield (and usually didn’t) still makes me nervous. Now, I hardly think about the routine I go through each time I get behind the wheel.
A few days ago, I was on the way to a meeting and realized I left my driver’s license at home. I was too far into the trip to turn around. In the instant of realization, my driving habits changed. I was back in that new driver mode, constantly watching all my mirrors, paying more attention to the distance between me and the car ahead of me, glancing at the speedometer more often than usual, and gripping the steering wheel as if this was my first time driving. I am generally a cautious driver and am not sure if not having my license would make me more cautious. And yet, it was the awareness that I didn’t have my license which made me think about how I drive.
And by now, you know that I’m going to relate this to my faith journey experience. There are parts of our worship experience that I don’t think about. Growing up, as part of the start of worship, the pastor or lay leader would ask congregants: “what do we believe?” The response was to recite The Apostle’s Creed. Prayer time began or ended with all of us lifting up the Lord’s Prayer. And of course, there were Bible verses that any of us could share because we heard them so many times.
Sometimes, I forget that the Bible is the living Word of God. Our understanding of Scripture changes as our relationship with the Lord grows and deepens. As we experience life, the words in the Bible resonate with us in new ways.
I wonder if we have forgotten how the words of the Hebrew Testament are the foundation for the coming of the Son of God. As we speak about the Great Commandment, do we also consider the words of the Shema which are its source (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)? The Lord as our shepherd is a theme throughout the Hebrew Testament. Is it no surprise that Jesus comes to us as the Good Shepherd and we are His flock? Jeremiah 31: 31-34 tells us of the new covenant God will establish with us. That new covenant was created when Jesus broke the bread and blessed the cup of the Last Supper. May we strive to remember all that our Lord continues to do for our salvation. And Amen.