When you’re a passenger in the back seat of the car and not the driver, you don’t have a good view of what is ahead, or what’s coming. You can strain to look down the road, and look out to what is beside you, but only the driver has the best view of what’s ahead. You are not the one in control of the vehicle.

As the passenger, typically you’re on your phone, reading a book, or watching the landscape fly by. As a result, if the driver turns sharply, odds are you’re not prepared for it and you slide, or tip over, or quickly grab on to something. If an item was in your lap, it isn’t any more! If you were drinking something, oops. Now it is running down your chin and onto your shirt. This can be frustrating.

When I am driving by self, I know what my car can handle. When taking a sharper curve, I need to lean into the turn so that I don’t slide out of my seat. It is like riding a horse – when you go downhill, you know to lean back; when you go uphill, you know to lean forward to help the horse’s weight be better balanced. So because I can see what is coming, I can prepare to respond accordingly. That’s because I am the driver.

When my children or husband are riding with me, since I am used to being alone and tend to drive the same whether I have company or not, I forget that they don’t know when I’m going around a corner, a curve or turning, so I gun it, and they lose it. They tip, they spill; they complain. But I do get them to their destination efficiently and basically intact!

“In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.”
Job 12:10

In our lives, we are not in control of where we are headed or how we get there; we are not the driver – though we wish we were and think we are. Our Heavenly Father sees the road ahead of us, plans out our course, and takes the wheel. Our job is to let go of the wheel, give Him free reign to do what He knows is best that will get us to that next step, and ultimately our destination. We may experience some rough, bumpy road, a sharp turn, and even a full stop. He may take the longer route, but regardless of the time it takes or how you get there, know that you will arrive on His schedule, and safely.

Do you remember being a kid and your dad would drive fast over a speed bump, and you would lift off of your seat, and go “Whoaaa – that was fun! Do it again, dad!” Riding with him was often an adventure. The same can be for us as children of God.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”
Proverbs 3:5

That is the same kind of excitement that we should be having with the Lord at the wheel of our lives. We don’t know what’s coming or where we are headed tomorrow, but hang on for the ride of your life and don’t be afraid, because He has a perfect driving record.

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.”
Psalm 37:5

Food for thought:
– Have you been sitting in the passenger’s seat telling Him where you need to go or how to get there as you would a cabbie?
– Are you a backseat driver telling him how to do his job?
– Do you trust the Lord enough to turn the steering wheel and gas pedal completely over to Him?

Fun facts: The term ‘backseat driver’ was coined for someone who offers unsolicited driving advice in the beginning of the 1900’s as cars became more popular.

Photo by: Jon Flobrant – Crossing Iceland (source: Unsplash)