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Driven to Distraction?

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Driven to Distraction?


Teresa Clarke finally passed her driving test this week ? after 27 years. It was the thirteenth test she had taken, after a total of 450 hours of tuition, at a cost of ?15,000. Naturally, she was delighted; or, as her relieved driving instructor put it, ?she went absolutely bananas.? Well, wouldn?t you, after 27 years?


Truth is that many of us would have given up long before. However, despite all the setbacks she encountered, Mrs Clarke insists that she, ?never wanted to give up learning to drive.? The primary reason why her success is newsworthy is because such perseverance is a rare thing in our ?instant society?.


Perseverance, of course, is the hallmark of true discipleship (Luke 9:62). However, in seeking to demonstrate the relevance of the Gospel to contemporary culture, we need to be careful not to create the impression that culture is the authority that authenticates the Gospel. Rather, as those believing in the divine authority of Scripture, we should seek to help people view culture through the lens of a biblical world view, in order that they see things for what they really are.


In the case of Mrs Clarke this means celebrating her achievement for what it is ? perseverance in passing her driving test ? but steering clear of the temptation to interpret it as what it is not ? an object lesson in persevering in discipleship. We don?t need Mrs Clarke passing her driving test to teach us to persevere in discipleship ? Jesus does that in the Bible. However, Mrs Clarke is an example of the difference a commitment to a biblical world view makes in everyday life.


Mrs Clark, you see, is a committed Christian, and it is in this context that her perseverance in learning to drive should be understood. ?I?m looking forward to taking people to church, to not having to ask my husband to take me shopping and to going to see my daughters?, she commented after passing her test. Her perseverance in learning to drive was motivated by a desire to serve others, relieve them of their burdens, and be a blessing to them. These are thoroughly biblical values ? testimony that Mrs Clarke?s faith has informed her thinking as regards what?s worth persevering with in life. In our ?instant society? she refused to ?conform to the pattern of this world?, but was ?transformed by the renewing of her mind? (Romans 12:2). What do our ongoing commitments say about our perseverance in the faith?


Nigel Hopper

LICC London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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