I faced one of the biggest challenges Houstonians deal with today: I renewed my driver's license in person. A notice from the Texas Department of Public Safety informed me last month that it would expire in February but I mistakenly believed I could renew online as I did last time. Fortunately, Trinka Sandahl, our receptionist, told me every other renewal has to be handled in person and she was right. So, this morning at 7:20, I joined a growing line- I was number 11- to get inside the DPS office, only three blocks from my house, awaiting the 8 AM opening. It was about forty degrees but the time passed quickly. Once inside, it was a breeze. A nice lady checked my eyes and another nice lady, Tiffany, took my picture. I also chatted with Susan, one of the DPS employees, who is the mother of Cody, one of my excellent students. I was back in my car by 8:30. You know, I was dreading the process but it was a very pleasant experience. Now I just have to wait for the plastic license to come in the mail and replace the temporary paper one, folded up and in my wallet.
I wish they gave a lifetime driver's license but I understand that's not reasonable or safe. Many people reach the point due to age or health issues where it's a hazard to themselves and others for them to be behind the wheel and we saw that with our mother. An elderly man in back of me was told he didn't see well enough to drive anymore and I'm sure that would be difficult to swallow. As I departed, Tiffany gave me back my old license, minus the top part which was scissored away. I look at that photo, taken in August of 1998, just days after I had moved to Texas from Tennessee. I'm not saying it was an America's Most Wanted mugshot or a celebrity rehab picture but it wasn't flattering. I've changed in thirteen years as anyone old enough to read this has. I hope I'm better in a number of areas. I know I can do more things technically than I could back then. Me on the computer in 1998? NO WAY! Am I closer to the Lord, a more willing servant in the kingdom, a better teacher of His truths? I'm not sure of the measuring stick but I'm pretty sure it's tied into that concept of renewal. Paul used a form of the word several times, referring to a rejuvenation of our spiritual lives. In 2 Corinthians 4:16, he writes:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
That's the difference between my spiritual and driving permission renewals- timing! Thank the Lord I don't have to show up every day at the DPS to be able to drive but that daily regeneration is the medicine for my soul. I'm sure my next driver's license picture in twelve years or so won't show a more handsome Steve but I can still be one on the inside. And the good thiing is that I don't even have to stand in line!
Applicable quote of the day:
“I got my driver's license photo taken out of focus on purpose. Now when I get pulled over, the cop looks at it (moving it nearer and farther, trying to see it clearly)... and says, "Here, you can go." ”
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