Who's In Control?

Just when you think I've done the craziest things, I come up with another one. Some months back, in a moment of hilarity, a friend asked me a question no one had for twenty-three years. "Do you want to drive my car?" I laughed, and so did she.

Then I thought what a thrill it would be to get behind the wheel after over two decades of riding in the passenger's seat. "Yes," I said, fueled with foolish courage.

She gave a mischievous chuckle. "Really?"

I nodded. "Yes, really."

My blindness hadn't stopped me from doing a lot of things, and driving would now be added to the list. I settled in the driver's seat, gripped the wheel, and “Woo hoo!” What a thrill it was to feel the car move as I pressed on the gas.

"Doing well; just a little to the left. Now straight," she instructed. "You're doing fine ." But when the groan of other car engines drew closer, concern flickered through. "It's okay," my friend reassured. "Just keep it straight." We are both alive to tell about it, but not without an important lesson. One that slammed hard into my soul:

How many times had I taken the same control of my life? Perhaps blinded by greed, skewed values, desperation to succeed or a need to just survive and unaware of what lay ahead, I would get behind the wheel of life and off I'd go. And so often, I'd crash into the wall of disappointment.

We all do that sometimes, don't we? Deceived by the world's lures, we dash to reach goals, chase illusions, and pursue our share of happiness. But we're all blind when it comes to seeing tomorrow, shortsighted about pitfalls, and visually impaired to see icy bridges ahead. We plop into the driver's seat, and with a “get-out-of-my-way” attitude, zoom down roads unaware of the dangers ahead. We commit way over our head, sign on the dotted line, plunge into business ventures, hop into relationships, or dive into a career - fooling ourselves into thinking that we're in control.

Then, as things don't work out just the way we planned, anger and bitterness set in. We slam on the brakes and turn a confused head from side-to-side, wondering where we'd gone wrong. Those dark moments, painful episodes, and even dreaded news from the doctor all blare the awful truth - we're never really in control.

So, as so aptly phrased in the Carrie Underwood song, why don't we just let “Jesus Take the Wheel?” Because fear blows its horn, that’s why. We're afraid God might not react quickly enough. He might not bring the answer we seek. He might require a change in us, or He might even turn deaf to our plea. So, we take charge once again and race away, hoping to reach that destination where peace will wave like a flag. But it just doesn't happen.

It didn’t for the disciples either, “…it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were terrified. But He said to them, “It is I; don't be afraid.” Then they were willing to take Him into the boat, and immediately, the boat reached the shore where they were heading. (John 6:17-21)

On the highway...or waters...of life, deep down we're like those scared disciples. They were just like us. Nothing but plain, ordinary guys, doubting at times, often foolish, and this time, terrified. But they did something simple - they took Jesus into the boat. And surprise, it was then they immediately reached the shore where they were heading. Don't you just love the fact it was immediatel y?

How far are you from the shore you're trying to reach? Are you still in control but terrified at the rough waters of life? In your effort to take control, maybe your ears missed His gentle reassurance: "It is I; don't be afraid."

So, let go of that steering wheel and invite Him in. He'll lead the way, direct the turns, calm the storms, and ease you to shore.

Having a rough week?

Janet Eckles jeckles@cfl.rr.com http://www.janetperezeckles.com/

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