Come Along With Me
I am teaching my daughter how to drive a car. She has her learner’s permit and knows the theory. She just needs to practice and to be exposed to different driving experiences. We don’t go out specifically to “learn to drive.” She drives us wherever we need to go. As much as she possibly can. When we are going to be encountering a new situation, I judge whether she is ready to handle it and decide if she will go ahead, if we will modify the route to avoid that situation, or if she will not drive this time. She is learning faster this way than she would if we tried to carve out time in our busy lives specifically for teaching her to drive. That doesn’t mean that we won’t need to go out to intentionally practice specific skills, such as parallel parking. Most of her education will occur in the course of our daily activities, and a few specific skills will be intentionally taught. Because my daughter is a girl who likes to know how things will happen, we discussed this learning strategy, the reasons behind it, and how I many other skills she has learned in the same manner. She learned to read by following along as I read to her. She learned to cook by baking with her grandmother.
As I thought about how I teach, I realized that I use the same strategies in relationships with others. I rarely go out with a friend just to go out. When I want or need to do something, I will see if someone wants to come along. When I know I will be at the park for an hour waiting for a child to finish an activity, I try to find a friend to come with me. We visit while we enjoy a walk in the park. A trip to the grocery store can become an hour spent alone with my husband. The conversations we have while doing something are different than the ones we have across the table in a restaurant or coffee shop. Specifically planned dates are important as well, but I much prefer “Come along with me” moments. To bring people into your life and invite them to do what you love shows them that you want to be with them. When someone allows me into their space, into what they love with them, makes me feel more special and loved than when they take time away from their lives to be with me.
My spiritual life benefits from this philosophy as well. I try to bring my God with me wherever I go. I don’t spend time every day specifically praying or reading my Bible to hear what God wants from me. I see His glory around me as I drive into the sun. I thank Him for His protection as I cross the street. And I know how He wants me to live and respond to different situations because of the times that I do specifically sit down to learn about Him.
My life is not perfect. I don’t take enough time to concentrate specifically on my children or my husband. I have few friends. And I have to consciously make time for my parents, who find it more difficult to “Come along with me”. I think the principle is sound and encourage everyone to bring someone else along as much as possible to share their love and perhaps pass on a lesson at the same time.