Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Letting Go Of The Steering Wheel of Life

It seems like yesterday, when I was 15 years old, trying to learn how to drive. I remember vividly sitting in a little Black Toyota Celica with a stick shift, and getting frustrated to tears because I could not figure out how to keep the car from rolling backwards on a hill, while trying to go forward. That whole gas pedal/clutch/brake combination was almost more than my teenage-lack-of-patience could take.

However, it wasnt long that I mastered that mean ol' clutch, and soon discovered a newfound confidence, as I became more experienced and sure of my driving abilities. In fact, after only a few months of driving, just like any teen, I was positive I could drive as good as any adult. (have mercy!)

Now, I am on the other side of the car, while my daughter Morgan, who recently turned 16, is learning to drive (but lucky for her, she does not have to learn with a stick shift!). But I quickly realized that this is yet another one of those life experiences in which I need to ask God for an abundance of love, patience, understanding, mercy and grace, so that I can extend those gifts to my sweet daughter when she is behind the wheel.

So yesterday, as Morgan was driving us around town, my nerves were a little rattled, for obvious reasons. Although for the most part, she is doing great, there are still some driving rules and responsibilities that she is still learning - for example, that one cannot make a right hand turn going 40 miles per hour, especially in an SUV which could easily tip over; that one should not ride so close to the car in front of us that we can see what color shirt the driver is wearing; that one should not get within three feet of a biker causing him to panic; and that one should always stay within the posted speed limits, even if everyone else chooses not to.

Although she lacks extensive experience in driving, she often thinks she knows best, and as a result, may have a delayed response in doing as I asked, or possibly even make her own decision about how to handle a situation. And trust me - that does not go over well.

But anywhooo... on this particular day, after a few frustrating moments of her not listening to my driving orders, I simply said to her, "Listen to me. When I ask you to do something, just do it. Do not question it. Do not debate it. And do not tell me what your plan is. I know what is best, so please listen."

As my words hung in the air, I felt like God poked my heart. How many times has my Father told me to listen to Him, and I did not? How many times have I felt my Father calling me to do something, but I questioned His will? How many times have I tried to convince God why I did not like His plan? How many times have I known that I understood what God was calling me to do, but I decided that my plan would be easier or better?

Why do I think I am more experienced in running my life, than God?

Hmmmmm. It really gave me something to think about, and I allowed my mind to ponder the words that my Father has just spoken to my heart. In fact, my silence probably caught Morgan off guard, as she wondered why her driving instructor was no longer instructing. A strange occurrence indeed. :)

I have come to realize that an important thing to remember, about knowing God's will, is that we need to stop focusing on the mysteries of Gods will that we may NOT know, and focus on the will of God that we DO know.

Maybe we DO NOT know exactly what Gods will is for our entire life. Maybe we DO NOT know what His will is regarding certain decisions we are facing. Maybe we DO NOT have any idea what His will is, with respect to how He desires to use us to serve Him.

But we DO know His will for our lives, in general. His Word tells us in James 4:7 to "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Gods will for each of us, is to submit to the ways He tells us to think, walk and live in our every day lives.

Gods will is not a secret, even though many people believe that it is some supernatural mystery that we will never understand. Instead, we really have been given everything we need to know about Gods will, through His words in the Bible.

For example, Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1:1-4:

"To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."

Peter is saying above, that as a result of increasing our knowledge of who Christ is, and understanding that His power is within us, that we are equipped to follow His will in our life. But then Peter goes on to tell us exactly what that will is for each for us, in verses 5-7:

"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love."

In simple terms, Gods will for all of us, is to try to be like Him. To be good, faithful, knowledgable of Gods omnipotence, self controlled, persistent, and kind to others. When we do the will that we DO know, and make it a priority in our lives, then it will be easier to hear His voice, and understand His will about the big decisions in life - those things we DO NOT know yet.

When we obey in the little things, God prepares us for the big things.

Even though I would prefer not to admit it, I am still very much like a young teenage driver at times, when it comes to who is controlling the steering wheel in my life. I do not always understand or agree with Gods plans, or the things that He tells me to do. Sometimes I may even think that I have a better plan, or walk in the wrong direction, knowing deep in my heart, that His plan is really best.

Sometimes we all tend to forget our dependence on God, and accidentally drive down the wrong road. We ignore His guidance and instructions, because we think we are experienced and knowledgable about running our own life.

What a smile it brings to my heart, to know that no matter how many times I may neglect to heed Gods instruction, that He will never stop instructing. My Father will sit behind the wheel, as long as I am willing to let go, and let God. And when I am sitting in His will, I am more than happy to sit in the passenger seat.

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3 comments:

Pretty Whimsical said...

Thank you for sharing this. My 15 year old son is learning to drive as well and God spoke very clearly to me as I related to your story.

Kelli said...

Thanks, Tracie, I could so relate to this since I have a 15 year old learning to drive and a daughter graduating from high school, both of which I am having to realize that God's plan for them is so much better than my own!

Wayne Anson - Micah 6:8 said...

Great blog! I know it is targeted to women but the lessons about God's will in this post are so helpful. Just recently God was speaking to me about His will and the timing of our obedience. Actually about whether timing itself is a qualification for having been obedient. Sometimes, I bleive, it is. Think Israel failing to enter Canaan. Other times, well I'm just not sure. I have invited dialogue on this thought at http://guidedreflections.blogspot.com/2010/05/is-timing-important-when-doing-gods.html.