It was an exciting day at our home recently, when my son, Will, got his learners permit. When I got home from a business trip, I got to experience his driving for the very first time. The last time I saw him drove the car was on a dirt road in rural Mississippi out near his Grandmother’s house. Today was more challenging.
So, with some concern, pride and a certain excitement I jumped in the front passenger seat of the Suburban while he got in on the driver’s side. As a father and an experienced driver, of course, I wanted to help him as best I could. Pulling out of the garage in our large Suburban was the first step. I reminded him to focus on one of the side mirrors to be sure he got out without hitting the garage.
As we drove off, the SUV jerked forward since he wasn’t used to the sensitive gas petal…..and we lurched forward at almost every intersection. It was sort of funny but I didn’t want to rib him on one of his first times driving – this was serious. I sympathetically told him not to worry about it, that he’d get used to it later. As he neared each stop sign and traffic light I found myself pressing my foot down onto my floormat hoping he’d somehow follow my lead.
Basically, I wanted to help him along the way, like a good Dad. And I did. In a patient and even voice, I reminded him about his speed, his need to brake early, to hold the steering wheel with two hands and so on. I was proud of him as he drove…really proud. He seemed really conscientious, too. I remember when, not too long ago, he was riding wildly around the house on his stick horse with his cowboy hat on….now he was driving a nearly 4,000 pound SUV down a busy street. Witnessing this mostly elegant transition from boy to young man, filled my heart with pride and love for my child….I wanted him to do so well…to make it.
I’ve seen the bumper stickers that say, “God is my co-pilot” and I’ve seen the other version that say “If God is your co-pilot you’re sitting in the wrong seat”……so I get it. God is certainly our pilot and I think He is also our co-pilot….to me, the bottom line is that He is with us. God is surely with us as we travel the roads of life….if you believe that, what do you think He’s saying as you drive along each day?
Is He saying “speed up John”….”watch that sign coming up Anne”….”Keep both hands on the wheel Bob”…..”Sue, watch that part of the road up ahead, it’s sometimes slippery”
Does He want you to drive your life safely? Does He want you to avoid potholes? Does He want you to enjoy the ride? Does he want you to let your car rest at times instead of riding it on and on and on? Does He want good things for you as you navigate life’s roads?
…or do you see Him as yelling at you when you hit the curb? Does He shout at you to slow down…”Hey idiot, why’d you miss that turn!”…is He angry with your efforts to do life? What would a good Dad do….yell or speak out of love?
Sometimes I think God does speak loudly to get our attention, but it’s not to be mean…..it’s so we get there in one piece…so we don’t hurt others….so we learn and grow…so we enjoy the ride and journey.
I think He mainly speaks to us as a loving Father….He is so proud that we are driving and that we have matured to the point of experiencing new roads and new phases of life. He is with us. He talks to us. He is kind. Sometimes He allows us to get off the smooth road where things can get bumpy and uncomfortable. But while we are bumping along, thinking we are lost, He knows what’s going on and He is with us still…sitting right beside us.
Ask God to reveal his Father’s heart to you. Ask Him how you’re driving. I think that He will answer….I think His answer will be the most loving, accurate, timely, wisest, most encouraging, most caring words you will ever hear. He is a great, great, great friend to have with us on the road of life. So today be encouraged and rest, truly rest in knowing that the best Father in the universe, your Heavenly Father, is sitting at your side smiling as He looks at you on your journey.
When on the road of life we tread
When our way is new
He’s at our side all the time
His love and calm subdue
And when the road is bleak and hard
He’s there so evermore
His loving hand to guide us still
His protection strong and sure
And when we pass through golden fields
When all is sunny still
He’s there as well right by our side
To give us all His fill.
Matthew 28:19 – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
2 comments On The Good Passenger
Bill – thanks for these messages… you help remind me of how God loves us – and it lifts me up a just the right time. Keep up the good work…
Billl, thanks for this message. It reminded me to put this in perspective. God is in control. He is in the driver’s seat. As a passenger, I need to submit to his control and direction.