Who's at the Wheel?


During my recent trip to Mindanao, Philippines, the warm hospitality added to the beauty of the island.

Our host seated behind the steering wheel glanced toward the back seat. “Is everyone ready?”

“Yep,” I said from the back seat. One friend sat to my right and the other to my left.

“It’s a long ride,” his wife chimed from the passenger’s seat.

We visited remote areas of the island while our pastor host, with 60-plus years of driving experience, pressed on the gas with boldness known to few. With no traffic rules, speed limits, or lane designations, driving spelled chaos. At one point, while passing buses and motorcycles on crowded streets in disrepair, the friend to my left gripped my knee. “This is it. We won’t make it.”

Then the three of us who were squished in the back seat, swung with force to the left as the driver made a sharp turn of the wheel to dodge the on-coming traffic.

Goodness gracious I thought, it’s legal to pass cars on the left by invading occupied lanes of on-coming traffic. Amazingly, in spite of a lack of driving rules, accidents are few.

But in all this craziness, one thing took my breath away. While those of us in the back seat jerked up and down and from side to side, gushing loud gasps, sweat beads of fear trickling down our faces and with hair blowing wildly from the wind, the pastor’s wife was…are you ready for this?... sound asleep.

Burning with curiosity, my friend sitting to my left, later asked her how she managed that reassurance and trust, alien to those of us wives in America. Her reply stunned us: “I have faith that God is guiding my husband’s hands.”

What? Was her secret in knowing that “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see?” (Hebrews 11:1) I imagined she was sure of her hope to reach our destination and certain about her husband’s driving abilities which, with closed eyes, she could not see.

Amazingly, she was absolutely sure and certain. We in the back seat doubted and feared. The same thing happens while dashing through the traffic of life. We shift into frazzle mode when the road, familiar and routine, suddenly changes and adversity meets us head-on. How scary knowing that no rules apply when disappointment invades our lane of peace. And, oh how threatening it is when there’s no speed limit for the heartache that slams against us, oftentimes pushing us into the ditch of despair.

But why is it so hard to take the same approach as the sleeping wife, and allow the God of the universe to take the steering wheel of our lives? If only we could, trust would usher in. Rather than fear to shake us, faith would take us safely around the sharpest of corners; keep us far from threats and danger.

And although the road of life is full of perils, risks and menace from all sides, knowing He’s at the wheel brings reassurance to accompany us in the vehicle we ride every day. Even without seatbelts, we can snuggle in the passenger’s seat dozing off, knowing with certainty that we’ll always reach our destination safe, secure and protected.

Janet Perez Eckles jeckles@cfl.rr.com For more inspirational stories, visit Janet: www.janetperezeckles.com

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