determine to ride shotgun

“Dad, can I drive this morning? Please?”

I hear those words almost everyday again, since my youngest son has his learner’s permit. Typically, there’s no problem with putting Kelton behind the wheel of one of our cars; however, I’m a little wary of handing over the keys for winter driving.

Winter weather in Michigan brings ice, snow, and slow travel (especially for an inexperienced driver). Honestly, I’m not so concerned about safety—primarily mine—but speed. And efficiency. I like to get where I’m going and get things done quickly. After nearly 30 years of driving slippery roads, I’m confident in my ability to get to our destination in one piece and on time.

But my son must learn to navigate his own way in treacherous conditions. So I relent,

“Sure, pal. Of course, you can drive.”

Sitting in the passenger seat makes me crazy. Sitting at stop signs 10 times longer than I like does, too. Reminding him to watch, slow down, speed up, use two hands. It all makes me a little twitchy. I find myself constantly having to remember my role; I’m here to teach. Prepare. And release his potential (Ephesians 4:12).


Whether you work with youth in a ministry setting, mange people in a business, teach in a classroom, or parent children at home, there’s a critical lesson here.
I implore you this week to make a list of everything you do and determine to ride shotgun. Give others the change to become. To learn. Grow. And thrive behind their own wheel.

Speed is not the goal. Neither is perfection. Training is the key. So model and move over!

Be a driving instructor—the most dangerous, fulfilling job you will ever experience.

Bob Newhart Driving Instructor Sketch