15 Crucial Life Lessons I am Learning on Canadian Roads

Shyju Mathew

"Experience the Word of God, in the power of the Spirit."

September 26, 2013

Driving in Canada has been a totally different experience from India. And the most exciting part of the long stretch of roads gives me plenty of time to think, ponder and pray.


Finally after many lessons clogged my brain, I thought it was not a bad idea to share it with you! I hope you are blessed as I am, and hopefully you will remember them when you really need to.

Lesson #1 – With Faster Speed Comes Greater Alertness

Canadian roads are built for higher speeds as compared to Indian roads. And with faster speed comes greater need for alertness because the smallest mistake can cause big disasters.

Faster growth requires greater alertness. [ClickToTweet] When God takes you to higher and in greater speed – it is required that we get more cautious and live without any compromises, lest the devil finds a foothold to destroy our destiny. No, not even the seemingly smaller loopholes that you have tolerated or ignored. Fix them all now in preparation to where you are going. Greater enlargement or calling should precede with greater caution. [ClickToTweet]

Lesson #2 – Ahead of You Does Not Mean Leading You

Appreciate those ahead of you – but don’t follow everyone. [ClickToTweet] They are cool but most of the times, their destination is different from yours.

And to assume that those that are ahead of you are leading you is to go off course when they do. [ClickToTweet] Be secure in who you are. Don’t fix your eyes on people, humans always disappoint. Gaze upon Jesus who is the only author and finisher of faith!

Lesson # 3 – There is Always a Blind Spot

I didn’t believe in blind spots while driving, until recently. I looked through my side view mirror and I saw no car. I severed left only to hear someone honking and braking behind me. (No, not that “hey nice to see you buddy honking”)

Do you know that a blind spot area is also called “killing zone”?

There are always those “killing zones” around all those who have either ignored or refused to believe that these exist. [ClickToTweet]

Just like a driver cannot take it for granted that he is safe, so also we must look for blind spots in our spiritual lives, family, ministry and every other area concerning us.

Lesson # 4 – Skill Without Knowledge is Fatal

I knew how to drive. In fact back in India, some friends were even impressed with how I could manoeuvre through the crazy Indian traffic. However, I failed to effectively utilize that skill into this part of the world.

Many a times, in the first few weeks, I thought I was going to meet my creator – face to face. 🙂 I knew how to drive, but I didn’t have the ‘know-how’ to survive in these situations.

Don’t depend on what you knew yesterday for tomorrow’s success. [ClickToTweet] You cease to exist when you stop learning. You have to learn every day. What new lessons can you learn today? Study yourself full.

Lesson # 5 – Unguided Information is Lethal

Within the first few weeks, I almost learnt how it works here. But I still lacked precision in many different situations. I lacked a coach beside me. The more I tried on my own the more honks and angry stares I received. I could have even killed myself in the process.

I know we all like to figure it out ourselves. [ClickToTweet]

First step to growth is to admit that we don’t know it all and that we need someone to help us. That process of humbling ourselves is going to take us to places we would otherwise never be able to in our own strength. [ClickToTweet]

Lesson # 6 – Every Lane You Choose Determines the Distance to Your Destiny

I cannot explain you enough what missing a lane does to you in this part of the world. One wrong road and you can end up going to Antarctica. (Ok, I exaggerated here but it’s close 😉 ) It’s highly difficult to switch lanes closer to your turn. You need to be aligned yourself to the lane to your turn much ahead of time.

Some destination that was just five minutes away would take us an hour to reach, only because we were in the wrong lane! Whom and what you align with is going to decide how long it’s going to take for you to reach your destination. [ClickToTweet]

Wrong friendships, networks, relationships, partnerships are all time killers to your destiny! Get rid of them before they delay you any further.

Lesson # 7 – Better Late Than Never

Some roads here are so smooth that you are tempted to hit the gas and try that cheap thrill of speeding. But then from time to time you see trucks towing away cars that are crushed beyond repair and you wonder if the person ever made it.

It’s better you arrive late than to be Mr. Late. When you are tempted to push things remember, it’s not about setting a record. It’s about living to enjoy what God has given you. You can still learn to enjoy life in its limits. [ClickToTweet]

Lesson # 8 – Enjoy the Way

Without having to really take your eyes of the road, you can still enjoy the way. Get a few snicker bars in the car. Enjoy the view. Have some nice music. Share a laugh.

My 18month old daughter does it so well. She has taught me the simple joys of life. Enjoy the plane in the sky. Walk on the grass (if allowed). Count the stars. Stare at the moon. Take it easy. Don’t get drowned with work. Love life and its creator.

Lesson # 9 – Your Partner is More Important Than You Know

One advice everyone gave me when we planned to do a long road trip was get someone with you. Don’t ever drive alone. I heard that over and over and over again. Couple of times I found Tiny asking me, “Are you sleepy?” Yes, I was. And each time I grew silent, she would engage me with conversations that made our drive much safer.

How true is that in life. Two are better than one, the Bible says. By ourselves we take more time to rise up from our falls than holding somebody’s hand and rising up. [ClickToTweet] Today find someone matured in the Lord that you can talk to, confess your sins, be accountable, and face the storms of life together. You’ll find that life becomes so much easy that way.

Lesson # 10 – Read the Signs

Duh, you’d think that it’s obvious eh? Not really. Sometimes we miss reading that big boards and as a result lose complete track and understanding of where we are in life. There are always big sign boards that God brings along the way through people and various other means that are screaming out directions, help, and your position.

Only a fool ignores God’s discipline, rebuke and guidance. To miss that is to put yourself in worrisome situations. Ask God for grace to pay attention to the signs from God no matter how small they seem. [ClickToTweet]

Lesson # 11 – Be Globally Positioned

We learnt this a bit slow and could have avoided many-a-heartache if we would have simply bought a Global Positioning System (GPS) device for our car. The GPS is a space-based satellite navigation system that provides location and time information in all weather conditions. What’s amazing is that it’s completely free here!!!

How many times do we forget that there is a voice that is constantly guiding us? No matter what the weather, season, or time – God is always speaking. [ClickToTweet] It is we, who do not pay attention to listen to His voice. Silence the noise in your heart to hear the whispers of His Spirit. [ClickToTweet] And the more you pay attention to the voice of God, the more louder it gets. [ClickToTweet]

Lesson # 12 – Breaks are Inevitable and Crucial

Let me add, both brakes and breaks are crucial. In the long winding road of life, it’s important that we stop everything we are doing to take a breather. It cools the engine. Revives the Spirit. Energizes your mind for the rest of the journey. Beyond that, it’s also a time to refuel. Receive that double portion to take down the works of the devil ahead of you. Go ahead, don’t feel guilty, you are human and you NEED rest! [ClickToTweet]

Lesson # 13 – Let Them Pass

Ha, there’s always someone trying to get into your lane or wanting to cross ahead of you.

Apologize if you need to. That doesn’t make you any less of a person. Only a secure and humble heart is not afraid to apologize. [ClickToTweet] Instead of always pointing a finger, for once try and understand someone by putting yourself in their shoes. [ClickToTweet]

Lesson #14 – There’s Always a Plan B

Yep, so what if you missed this turn. It’s not the end of the world. Don’t lose hope. Don’t beat yourself to death. We all miss the mark. There’s none who is perfect.

You have only failed when you fail to make failure your stepping stone. [ClickToTweet] If you have the heaven’s GPS (the Word of God) installed in your heart, you’ll hear it saying – Rerouting, Rerouting, Rerouting! Get back up today and you’ll be surprised to know that Jesus has never left you and He is waiting for you even now!!!

Lesson # 15 – Not All Green Signal is Yours

Last but not the least. (Ok, I mean, last point for this post) In trying to rush for the green/orange light, you are risking your life and those of others around you. It’s a simple, yet a profound truth.

If God wants you to take that light, it’ll remain green by the time you get there. If you’ve done what you had to do and yet missed the green, then you can be sure that it was not supposed to be your turn.

Don’t rush after every opportunity that life throws at you. Carefully weigh all the blessings. Blessings before or after God’s purposed time can turn into a bondage. [ClickToTweet]

Stay calm. Keep your seat belts on. Stay alert.

Now your turn. What have you learnt on the roads? What points above speaks to you the most?