Life’s test drives provide valuable lessons

My oldest son is getting his driver’s license in a few weeks. A few days ago, he sent me a text with a link to this five-speed hot little road rally car he wants. Of course, as a responsible dad, I began to point out all the flaws of purchasing this particular vehicle.

But he was blinded by desire and would have none of my advice. So, I agreed to go and test drive the car with him, cash in hand.

He was giddy, thinking this was the long-awaited day he would buy his first car.

We arrived at the car and both immediately saw that the right rear was caved in — taillight in need of replacing.

“No big deal,” my son said.

After a good once over, it was adding up – numerous scratches, missing reflectors and a missing rear windshield wiper.

Then we tried starting it.


After having the dealer install another battery, eventually, it started, and boy, was it loud. It was going to need an immediate muffler replacement.

It didn’t faze him. He said, “all still fixable, Dad.”

In the test drive, we discovered that the check engine light was on.

Finally, he realized this wasn’t what he expected, and my disappointed son left that car behind that day.

But he had to find out on his own because my sound advice was not enough.

The lesson?

You learn a lot from a test drive. My son learned to look at listings on with a bit more discretion.

But I learned that often I am as stubborn to my heavenly father as my son was toward me.

I often don’t heed God’s wise advice for my life and so I end up with nothing but junk.

Thankfully, God doesn’t turn his back on me and my stubbornness but instead allows us all to be tested, to be proved by trial, giving us second chances as we face life’s test drives.

And so, today, I say to my heavenly father, “Thanks, Dad, for all the test drives.”

Rob Rigsbee is the pastor of Fortville Christian Church.

This column is written by local clergy members.