BY RYAN MELLIZA
Reflection from 14 August 2016
I’m relatively a baby in terms of driving skills, having driven for only 4 months to date. Similarly, I am just a newbie in applying Divine Indwelling in my spiritual journey. My lack of experience in both driving and D.I. has led me to this reflection in terms of driving licences.
Learner licence: The driver has acquired the basic theoretical knowledge about driving but is not yet allowed to drive by himself without the supervision of a fully-licensed driver.
Like most Catholics, we already know the basic teachings. We practice devotional prayers, and we are familiar with the routinely rituals of the church. On one hand, some of us remain complacent in faith, “playing it safe” using religiosity as our security blanket.
On the other hand, some might become exceedingly enthusiastic on pre-maturely pursuing a spiritual journey, which might lead to radicalisation or fanaticism, without the proper guidance of a spiritual director.
Provisional P1 licence (red P): The driver is now authorised to drive without supervision but with certain restrictions. The NSW Roads and Maritime Services handbook warns that the risk of crashing is significantly greater for newly licensed provisional drivers because they can drive unsupervised.
Equipped with our basic understanding of the Catholic faith and traditions, we are now called to embark on our own spiritual journey. On one hand, some of us will practice prudence (akin to safe driving) while independently building a deeper relationship with God. On the other hand, some of us become overly excited to run the show the way we want to (with the risk of reckless driving) while merely keeping GOD tucked in the backseat.
Provisional P2 licence (green P): Having held the P1 licence for at least 12 months, the driver will get their P2 licence after passing the Hazard Perception Test.
At this stage, Catholics have gained more confidence and maturity from the spiritual aspects of common life experiences. We are expected to be able to exercise discernment between what is good (safe) and what is bad (hazardous). On one hand, some of us could now be in a more intimate relationship with God and we would want to keep Him closer to us by allowing Him to take the front passenger seat. On the other hand, some of us could still be holding on to the steering wheel, relying mostly on our own driving skill, and controlling our lives to move towards whichever direction we would want to go.
Full licence: The driver gets their unrestricted licence after passing the Driver Qualification Test. Eventually, this makes them eligible to upgrade the license to enable themselves to drive bigger or heavier vehicles whenever necessary.
Ideally, this is the time when Catholics have embraced deep spirituality as second nature and a part of everyday living. At this time, we should be aware of God’s Divine Indwelling in our hearts. And we should also share our D.I. experience to the greater community around us.
Ironically, just as we think that we already have our spirituality under our full control, this is also the moment when we are called to surrender ourselves completely and to let God take the driver’s seat in our lives.
On one hand, some of us might experience difficult struggles in detaching ourselves from the vehicle’s controls. If we insist on grappling with God to take control of our destiny, it might lead to a crash which could harm ourselves or hurt other people around us.
On the other hand, we can simply choose to sit back, relax in the passenger seat, and let God do the driving on our spiritual journey. We can definitely tell Him where we want to go, and we would just be amazed because He certainly knows the best way to get us there in the perfect time.
Making the choice:
God has gifted us with the freedom to choose which type of license we wish to carry while in our spiritual journey. We need to make the right choice at the right time. We don’t want to get caught off-guard in case the traffic enforcer might do some random inspections at the most unexpected circumstances.
My personal preference is to get the FULL license in God’s time. For I reckon that D.I. makes DrIving complete. Taking out D. I. from driving would make it just _R_VING, as the title suggests. And because the word “RVING”, by itself, doesn’t make any sense at all, we really need D.I. to give complete meaning to our lives and to drive us forward in our journey.