Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How tight are you clutching the steering wheel?

If life was a car that I was driving, I would probably be a white-knuckled driver. I like to think that I am in total control of everything that even brushes against my 'sphere of influence' and because of this, I have lived out most of my 38 years (yes, I had diagnosable anxiety as a 3rd grader) in a state of almost constant alert.

I have this constant lie running through my head that by living this way, I am going to prevent bad things from happening and that I will be able to prevent pain and suffering from touching myself or my family.

What a crock!

I am not advocating living capriciously but I am saying that we can do our best but in the end unexpected and sometimes tragic events will take place in our lives. We can be meticulous about safety for ourselves and our own families but we can't control other people. At some point, everyone we love WILL die. Illnesses will take hold. Accidents will happen. Other people will be rude and unkind to us or our kids.

In this life, maybe we should be working to build up our children's and our resiliency. Maybe instead of trying to prevent things from happening to us and our loved ones, we should be learning how to deal with life when it happens - because no matter what we do to stop it or slow it down LIFE WILL HAPPEN.

It seems to me that God is a big part of this ability to be resilient. God is in control, not us. God knows the future and how things will come together, not us. God loves us and our children more than we do ourselves.  In Matthew, chapter 7:9-11 , Jesus tells the people, Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

The most freeing times in my life have been when the worst case scenario has taken place or when I am at my wits end and can't make anything happen on my own power. It is in these situations that I finally throw my hands up and give God what he has been asking for - control of my life.

If I think I'm driving through life alone and something happens - a flat tire, empty gas tank, a smoke filled engine - I am terrified. When I allow myself to go for the ride down the road of life with God driving, I can actually enjoy the road trip - even if there's a flat tire or a breakdown because I trust HIM to take care of me and the situation. When I am not backseat driving or taking control of the wheel,  my life is so much more peaceful because I am not trying to MAKE things happen on my own; I am letting someone who knows the maps and roads of my life better than anyone be in charge - GOD.

This is not easy for anyone - particularly for those of us who like to be in charge. My entire life has been filled with the struggle to give the steering will of my life back to God. This might be the work God is calling you to begin today, too.

Putting ourselves under God's authority and control is the most important work in a Christian's discipleship journey - it is also probably the most difficult and the one that will never be fully completed until our birth into the eternal.

If you are white-knuckled driving today, let go and let God take over. The road might not be the one you wanted but with God driving you will make it to the end of the journey.

Chesney Szaniszlo

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
-Zephaniah 3:17


Anonymous September 19, 2012 at 8:08 AM  

Amen ! I like the examples - it helps put things in perspective. People will get sick / die. Other kids will be rude to my kid, etc. I can't control those things. But, I can react in a way that is Godly.