I am the proud parent of two driver’s education graduates. And I have white knuckles and high blood pressure to prove it.

I’ll never forget the day my oldest daughter, Amy, earned her driver’s permit. I agreed to take her driving along some of the side streets near our church. Amy skillfully maneuvered our large car through the subdivision and started back for church. She drove perfectly . . . until we reached the church parking lot.

Amy found a parking spot in between a large SUV and a light post. With her foot on the brake pedal, she slowly turned into the parking space. Suddenly, the car lurched forward and she panicked. She thought her foot had been on the wrong pedal, so she slammed her foot on the opposite pedal to brake the vehicle. It turns out she was right—the first time.

As we accelerated into the parking space, my right foot made an impression in the passenger seat, where the brake pedal should have been. The experience taught Amy a valuable lesson: A driver’s skill in mastering the internal controls of his vehicle will determine his reaction to external hazards.

We need to keep our eyes on the road before us as we journey through this life. But we must master the controls. If we practice prayer, Bible meditation, and develop a growing walk with Christ, the unexpected trials of life will not make us panic. Prepare for spiritual road hazards in advance. Pray before you confront a Christian brother or sister. Meditate upon the verses in your daily devotions as you sit in traffic. Allow your relationship with Christ to enable you to show His love to a difficult co-worker. Soon you’ll become a top driver.

The greatness of the Christian lies in the fact that he is God’s. William Barclay

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.