Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Isn’t it amazing how much control we want to have over our circumstances, people, and our own actions and words? More amazing are the wonderful benefits God gives us when we surrender all control to Him. Let’s make 2012 a year of surrendering everything—body, soul, and spirit—to God.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Backseat drivers can be frustrating. Well-intentioned or unsure people point out the parking spot we should use, yell, “You’re too close to that car,” or warn about the stop sign three blocks ahead. We might have a five-star driving record, but that doesn’t stop them from offering us unsolicited advice. Other “backseat drivers” are those who can’t keep a job because they keep telling the boss how to run his business.
It’s a matter of control. Backseat drivers believe their way is the only way to fix a problem—whether it’s about finding the perfect parking spot, pointing out an obvious stop sign, or telling the boss to let us do the job our own way because it’s “better.”
The Bible includes countless stories about people who believed their way was better than God’s way. Each time, they got in trouble. The Israelites turned away from God, their “boss,” for other gods and missed out on the Promised Land. Samson caved in after Delilah’s relentless begging and told her the secret of his strength. He lost his life over it. Jonah was thrown overboard and swallowed by a whale when he disobeyed God. He didn’t believe God should send him to such an evil place as Ninevah. Jonah later learned that God was right all along.
Jesus’ disciples wanted to send 5,000 people home for dinner rather than believe that God could provide enough food for them on the spot. They insisted a group of little kids shut up so Jesus could preach to the adults, not realizing that the kids were important, too. They tried to keep an “unclean,” bleeding woman and, later, two blind men from making a scene, not imagining Jesus would even think about healing them.
It took a while for the Israelites, for Samson and Jonah, and for Jesus’ disciples to learn the lessons about God’s faithfulness. When we too “backseat drive,” trying to take God’s control into our own hands, sometimes it requires many lessons before we learn that God’s ways are better than ours. When we finally learn, we can stop being His backseat driver and allow Him to remain at the controls. We can feel relaxed and at peace.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Lord, help us to trust in You completely so we won’t be tempted to be Your backseat driver. In Jesus’ name, amen.