It was the BIG day.
My oldest daughter was testing to receive her driver’s license. Like many of young people of this generation, she had chosen to wait to pursue this timeless rite of passage until she was 18. Needless to say, it added to the already growing amount of drama in our family. Having gone through all the wonderful bureaucracy of the Department of Motor Vehicles, I hugged her and prayed for her.
“Heavenly Father, help Emily to have your peace as she drives today. Help her to adequately demonstrate her driving knowledge and use this to further prepare her for lifetime as a responsible woman. We trust you! In Jesus Name…Amen!
Her instructor came to our car promptly excusing me to the waiting area. I was suddenly overwhelmed with powerlessness. I wanted to say something. I wanted to assert my parental authority, while realizing she is not at her first day of kindergarten but a legal adult on the verge of becoming even more adult! So I took a seat and stared out the window.
Was she really ready to drive? Is anyone really ready to drive? Yet, I needed her to pass. It was becoming a burden to all of us to chauffeur her from work and school. Yes, it is time for Em to start driving on her own but what if…? Lord, selfishly I want her to pass, but the protective part of me wants her to fail. Will I ever stop being a dad?
After what seemed like an eternity, my little white Corolla reemerged in the parking lot. She pulled into the designated spot for those who had tested for their license. I watched her closely as she spoke with the instructor, trying to determine the outcome of her test. When he finally emerged, her head sank.
She explained to me that she had made the turn into the parking lot of the DMV without checking to see if bicyclists were in the bike lane. Bike lane! What bike lane? I got out of the car with that indignant parent walk—hat kind that you have when you need to challenge someone or something has encroached on your child’s emotions. I went to inspect the so-called “bike lane” myself.
As I surveyed the street with the presumptive authority of a helicopter parent, I saw nothing that resembled an official bike lane. I readied my phone/camera in preparation for my protest when I noticed it. There, smack in the flow of traffic turning into the DMV, was an old, scratched up penny.
No doubt it had been driven over by hundreds of motorists, including my daughter.
I suddenly remembered my prayer. “Use this to prepare her…” I paused. This penny was like the promises of God—always there, often unnoticed. He was reminding me that He is good. That He is a Father, too. That He is in control, and that I needed to surrender my worries, concerns, and fears to Him.
“Cast your cares on me, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Thank you, Father! My daughter is your daughter. I entrust her to you again. Thank you for the gentle reminder today through a well-worn copper penny that you have all things under control. That gives me the peace of Christ, which surpasses all understanding. Amen.
Author: Chris Cannon, Lead Pastor – King’s Harbor Church, Redondo Beach, CA