In The Driver's Seat

January 24, 1998
by Mary Daniel

Nahum 1:7 – The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and he knoweth them that trust him.

Throughout our life we all teach and are taught, some by profession, others if only by example.

We had a Sunday School teacher once who led us in Bible Study, prayers and hymns, and on the odd warm Sunday afternoon, if we begged hard enough, would take us out to a big open field and teach us to drive his black mini Austin (if memory serves me correctly!). It wasn't just being behind the wheel which stirred excitement… for some, just being there was a thrill.

I think I was about 10 when I took to the wheel. I can still remember gripping the hard, thin steering wheel, stretching my legs to reach the pedals, trusting someone else to shift, and hoping that I didn't make a fool of myself in front of the bigger kids (some of whom were in the back seat). I seem to remember sporting one of those wide, strained, teeth-gritting smiles that says "I'm scared, but I'm happy."

Sometimes, one would steer and one would shift. Our teacher (giving orders from outside the car) was usually trying to keep his cool (and his car intact!). So now, we had someone in the driver's seat, someone outside giving orders to the driver, and always, the ultimate driver. Add someone shifting gears, and that makes for quite a combination to accomplish one thing. The driver could turn left instead of right. The "shifter" could grind into third instead of slipping nicely into second. Any number of things could take place (and usually did).

Life is kind of like that. There may be times in our lives, especially when things are humming along quite smoothly, when we forget we are sharing the "driver's seat". However, someone or something can "shift our gears" and usually when we least expect it. It is then, more than ever, that we turn to God and ask Him to "drive". Because one of His greatest gifts to us is the gift of choice, we need only remind ourselves that he is always "in the seat" with us, letting us steer, but if we listen, he is giving us the directions.

Prayer: Lord, let us always remember it is you who are in the driver's seat. Let us always look to your path, especially when we are responsible for steering others or entrusted to "shift" for them. May we also, Lord, strive to understand when our "gears are shifted" when we least expect it. Through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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