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Teaching roadside lessons

Have you seen the TV ad for the auto insurance company touting their roadside assistance? It presents a mother thanking the company for rescuing her teenage boy by changing a flat tire for him. It compares her experience with two unfortunate teenage drivers, stranded with a flat tire, unable to identify a lug wrench. The message — buy our insurance because your kids cannot change a tire.

Emergency roadside service is a great thing, but I struggle with the idea that it is acceptable for teenage drivers not to know how to change a tire. This skill is as necessary for a motorist as parallel parking. Roadside service is great, but what happens on a sub-zero night when one's cell phone has no service?

The issue is more about parenting than clueless teenagers. When parents fail to teach their kids the fundamentals of life they become vulnerable. This is true with spiritual issues as well. When we neglect teaching our children about prayer, worship and the basics of faith, their vulnerability moves from a roadside inconvenience to an eternal crisis. There are no insurance companies that can take up where we have willfully left off. In the challenges of life, are you aware of how to connect with the life-side care provided by God?

Teaching our kids how to change a flat tire will assure us of their ability to come home on a Saturday night. Training our children to connect with God will assure us of their ability to navigate the road of life.

Pastor Mark Holmes is an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church and has served the Darrow Road Wesleyan Church since 1997.