Many of you remember that Beatles song “Drive My Car”. Three months ago, Jonathan, my youngest, turned 16 and got his driver’s license. Somehow this felt like a bigger deal to me than when Bethany got her license at age 18 or Josh at 17. Having grown up in Jordan, the older two didn’t have the chance to take driver’s ed in high school and had to wait until they were “stateside” and in college to learn to drive. Maybe Jonathan’s driving feeling like a bigger deal also has to do with the fact that he is my “baby” or as Arabs say, “the last of the bunch”.
I have a confession to make: I have always been a nervous passenger in the car regardless of who is driving. Rick and I have had many an argument about my “backseat” driving, sharp intakes of breath, and hands on the dashboard. The kids alternate between laughing at me and being very annoyed with me when they are driving and I am a passenger. I really do try to control my reactions, but sometimes I just react without thinking.
Inviting Christ into our lives involves giving up the driver’s seat and making Him Lord of our lives. Surrendering control of my own life to Him continues to be a daily choice for me – I am so often tempted to get back in the driver’s seat or to backseat drive. During one of my quiet times, I heard Grace Incarnate speak to my heart the following:
“Sit back and enjoy the ride and the journey. I am in the Driver’s seat. I know where we’re going. I don’t need help steering. It’s OK when you need to take a break or have a nap. Even if other drivers are doing a poor job of driving all around us, I can steer this car away from the messiest of traffic jams and accidents. I can deal with the potholes, fog, darkness, and heavy rain which are bound to come (‘In this world you will have trouble’). Our destination is heaven, but I have a lot of cool ideas for stops along the way. I want to be the Driver of a convoy of cars – you can help me by directing other people to Me. I don’t get drowsy and I don’t ever need you to take the wheel. You can completely trust My driving, even when I don’t tell you the exact road I am taking us on.”
My response to this was “Thank You, Lord!”. I know that it will continue to be a choice for me to surrender the Driver’s seat every day, but hopefully I won’t struggle as much against it, even as I have learned to be more relaxed as a passenger when Rick or one of the kids is driving. I recently read the following quote from the Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis and John Eldridge: “We cannot remove the element of mystery from the road before us nor can we eliminate the dangers. But we can learn from pilgrims who have gone before us something of the road conditions, the hazards, and the places of rest and refreshment”. My prayer is that this blog will be that kind of encouragement to y’all.
“It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.” 2 Corinthians 5:7-8 from the Message