The only Mr. Right in my life was Mr. Wright, my driver’s education teacher.
When he finished talking about speed limits, parallel parking, and car components, he drilled one concept at each class session: “Driving is not a right. It is a privilege, and with it comes responsibility.”
I have found Mr. Wright’s words fit everything in life. Back then, in driver’s ed classes, I had few responsibilities. I expected life would be so much more fun when I’d be older and get to do more things—rights, I called them.
The privileges are fun. I experience life in a much richer way now than when I was sixteen and in driver’s ed. Driving to work used to be a novelty, but now I can drive much farther and to more foreign terrain—as long as someone else reads the map for me. However, now that I’m “grown up” and am at the stage where my childish self thought I could do anything I want to, I’ve discovered that as a Christian I have no rights.
God may ask anything of me, not because He’d like to make me squirm, but because He is God.
A dear friend’s letter told me of her resolve:
“God may help Himself to my life, to me, to my dreams, to my longings for romance and a man. He may give it to me, or He may withhold it all from me for always. God may do all that and more because He is God. He won’t do it and sit up there and laugh. Rather He does it all because He sees the whole picture and He has the very best in mind for me. The very best.”
Rights? What Rights?
Influenced by our consumer society, we unconsciously start thinking we deserve certain things, and have the right to demand that our needs and wants are filled instantly. The single lady thinks she has a right to marry the man of her dreams or to pursue her own inclinations in career and leisure time. The married lady feels she has the right to demand uninterrupted time with her husband and a lovely house she can take pride in.
We can give off big explosions when our rights aren’t handed to us. But God never promised to give us rights. In fact, the Bible is shockingly empty of promises to do this.
The only rights He grants us will take place in heaven.
Blessed are those who do his commandments,
that they may have the right to the tree of life,
and may enter through the gates into the city.
Until then, God gives us gifts. These are privileges to hold with open hands, valuing them because of Who gave them.