To pass the test, read the book

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 19, 2011

The state of Louisiana has issued a learner’s permit to Victoria Grace. Finally! She took the week-long driver’s education course in November, logged the required number of hours driving in December and January, then on the last day of February, asked, “When will you bring me to get my permit?”

“Not today. The office is probably closed.”

“It’s 3:15,” my daughter, who seems too young to drive, said.

“Have you been studying the book?”

“Mom, it’s common sense. I passed the course in November. I’ll do fine.”

“Then let’s go. Find your papers from driving school. I’ll get your birth certificate. Lauren, do you have any cash?”

We walked into the DMV at 3:30, and I cringed when I discovered the office closed at 4 p.m. “They’ll never let her take the test,” I thought. It wasn’t long before Victoria ‘s number was called, and a very kind lady began to process her request while I continued to apologize for arriving so late.

Victoria was sent to the room to take the written portion of the test and soon returned, saying, “Well, I’ll just come back tomorrow.” She didn’t pass but took the news well.

“Victoria,” I began, “you do have a lot of common sense, but we’re on their turf. To have success here, you have to know the answers to the test they’ve created. You have to study their manual.”

And she did.

The next day I met Victoria and her cousin, Tiffani, at the DMV immediately after school. I was much more nervous than Victoria. Tiffani did her best to talk and try to keep me occupied, but I relaxed only when I saw Victoria leave the testing room with a smile on her face.

I wish the tests in life were as easy as those for learner’s permits. However, success is derived the same way for both. To pass the test, study the manual. For me to have success in life, I must study the Bible, the manual from the Creator. I want His wisdom when handling situations presented in life.

Bible teacher Bill Gothard defines wisdom as, “seeing life from God’s point of view and tracing our problems to violations of His principles.” In order to know God’s point of view and His principles, I study His Word.

My goal, which I don’t always meet, is to daily read one chapter from the book of Proverbs. Since the book has 31 chapters, I read the chapter corresponding to the day of the month. On the first day of every month, I read the first chapter of Proverbs. This way most months I read all 31 chapters.

In addition to learning by reading, I ask a lot of questions. And that’s OK, too. James 1:5 assures me, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you.”

Speaking of questions, Victoria doesn’t ask many while driving. But then I don’t give her much opportunity. I’m too busy saying, “Slow down. Speed up. Don’t turn yet. Turn now…” To her credit, she has the wisdom to obey. May God say the same of me.

Ronny may be reached at .