As soon as you, our “Beacon Lights” readers, see the title of this article, immediately the thought will come to your mind, “Oh, here’s another sermon on the do’s and don’ts of Sunday driving.” But hold on a little. Read a little further before you decide to close “Beacon Lights” and put it away.
There is no one who can say you may drive here and not there. We cannot draw definite lines as to Sunday driving. However, there is something we as Christians can and must say about Sunday driving.
Do you read the “Standard Bearer”? If you don’t, you should. When you pick up the “Standard Bearer” next time, look for the rubric “In His Fear,” and even go back to where the Rev. Heys begins his articles on “The Sabbath in His Fear.” I don’t think we could improve on his articles which deal with keeping the Sabbath Day holy. In the course of the articles, Rev. Heys mentions Sunday driving or travel. In the Feb. 1 issue of “Standard Bearer,” Rev. Heys writes to the effect that there is much legitimate travel on the Sabbath. Even the apostle Paul must have spent much of his time in travel on the Sabbath and that too on ship. If there had been cars at that time Paul undoubtedly would have traveled by car.
Immediately you see that some Sunday driving is necessary and therefore justifiable. Such driving would include traveling some miles to attend church or society or maybe seeking communion and fellowship with friends after church. There were times, you know, when driving to church was considered almost as bad as you would consider one taking a motorcycle to church nowadays. Today it is expected that many drive to church as is seen by the parking lots built around the church.
Besides necessary driving on Sunday, I think there is also some unnecessary driving that COULD be justifiable. I am thinking of a ride in the country on a quiet, peaceful Sunday afternoon, maybe in the summer or fall.
Let’s take a ride once on such a Sunday afternoon.
As we get into the car, we first of all realize that our life is not our own. It belongs entirely to God who has created and now preserves that life. As we begin our drive, we also realize that the car we are riding in is not something of man’s intelligence and ingenuity but that each part has its own significance and was designed by God. The metal, though processed by man, is a product in nature which God put there. The rubber parts and tires, cloth, etc., were all from God.
Now we come to the country. Immediately our eyes come to rest on some beautiful flowers in a farmyard. As we ride by, we see God’s handiwork as He forms each and every petal of the flowers. He forms the leaves and stem and roots of the plant, making them beautiful beyond description.
As we continue our ride, in an open field we see a lone dead tree. As we fix our eyes on it, we think not of just the dead wood but what that dead tree represents. It shows us that sin is ever present in the world. We are living in a world of corruption and death.
Next, we look at the colors. Green would be the first color our eyes behold. Green, which represents the budding and expression of hope, is seen especially in the spring when all things blossom forth in fresh, hopeful beauty. We also see blue, white, red and yellow, all having their own significance. I could go on and mention the sky, which contains the heavenly bodies, the sun and a small fingernail of a moon. We could think of the air and the water, and even the road we are riding on.
What could be a more blessed afternoon than that. No, we mustn’t identify God with creation as the Pantheist, but we must realize and believe that God created all these things with a purpose, His glory.
In connection with this ride, however, we must say more. How many of us would go for a Sunday drive with only those thoughts in mind? I would venture to say none of us would. Instead, what we are more inclined to do, is to get together with other young people and waste the entire afternoon! We race down the road like fools, not thinking for one moment of the evil of desecrating the Lord’s Day. Or maybe just ride aimlessly to get from under the rule of the folks who are pressing us to read our church papers. This pertains not only to the fellows but also to the girls.
What do you do with your Sunday nights? Are you engrossed in discussion with yourself and others on the sermons heard that day? You fellows, do you take a Psalter along with you when you go on your date and sing some of the numbers, or if you can’t sing, take a Bible along and discuss a portion of Scripture? In some circles this is a very common practice and we might do well to adopt this practice. Have you read the “Standard Bearer” and our own “Beacon Lights”? When do you prepare for catechism and Young People’s Society? Surely if all you can do with your Sunday is drive around in your cars, then certainly you can’t possibly find time during the week either, because you will be too busy flying around as much during the week as on Sunday.
In conclusion, let me say that cars are an invention that God put in the minds of men with a purpose: the glory of His Name. We cannot use them for our own pleasure. They were not made to abase God’s Name; instead, we must remember, they are an invention to God’s glory.
The car has its place, even on Sunday. We may not say, you may do this and may not do that, but must ask what is our attitude to God with our car. Is it to God’s glory and His alone? If not, then think twice. REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY TO KEEP IT HOLY.