When I started driving a car in Thailand I knew the rules of driving would change. The rearview mirrors became a bigger part of driving seeing everything around as bikes slip up through lanes and the big city drivers feel they can drive fast as they want or their car will go once they are out of the city. I’ve been thinking about an analogy for life and driving for some time but it wasn’t until this week after a near accident I saw what God was trying to teach.
After an evening out with the family we were returning home late. It had rained, it was dark, and there were still many drivers on the road. My wife and son were in the backseat and my son was crying, we were all very tired. Then out of nowhere a truck making a legal u-turn pulls out in the road in front of me and stops. I start flashing my lights, honking, and hit the brakes as I glance to my rearview mirrors to see what is coming up behind me. I can’t move into the other lane to go around as there were cars there already and those back further seeing what was happening moved to the lane to pass and kept going fast trapping me and my family with no place to go as we slid, lights flashed, and the horn blaring.
It was in that moment as my son was screaming and my wife calls out from the backseat to go around that God showed me what I had asked for and looking for. I was reminded of part of Paris Reidhead’s teaching Ten Shekels and a Shirt:
…you’re sitting behind the wheel and you’re saying to God give me power so I can go, You won’t work, You’ve got to slide over.”
But I knew that rascal, because I knew me. I said, “No, it will never do, you’ve got to get in the back seat.” And I could see him leaning over and grabbing the wheel.
“No,” I said, “it will never do in the back seat.”
I said, “Before God will do anything for you, you know what you’ve go to do?”
So he said, “What?”
I said, “You’ve got to get out of the car, take the keys around, open up the trunk lid, hand the keys to the Lord Jesus, get inside the trunk, slam the lid down, whisper through the keyhole, ‘Lord look, fill’r up with anything you want and you drive, it’s up to you from now on.'”
In that moment as I was sliding closer to the truck stopped in the middle of the road and getting instructions from my wife that wasn’t seeing the picture I saw how we, how I treat God. We hand Him the keys to our life and think we can still stay in control and tell Him how to drive our lives when we can’t see the full picture. The amazing thing about it is God has given us free will and He lets us make decisions— even if they aren’t the best or safe, even when we can’t see what is in the rearview mirrors. When we give our life over to God are we willing to give Him the keys to the car as well and get in the trunk saying to Him just before we close it “God you fill’r up with your fuel, you drive, and I’ll trust you as you take me on this journey of life wherever that is!”? It isn’t easy and sometimes there are stops and we get out and get some gas for the car we look around we have that special intimate relationship time with God and when it is time to continue down the road we think we have grown and get back in the front seat with Him. It doesn’t work! We have to submit and put ourself back in the trunk continuing to give God the control and tell Him “You got us safely this far keep going, I’m not going to try to control where you are leading!”
The night I slid down the dark wet road towards the truck I had space to pull halfway into the opposing u-turn lane coming to a complete stop in the middle of the highway. Thankfully the car behind me was also alert to what was happening and they stopped safely was well.