“Just let me drive. “
“I won’t make a fool out of you.”- Tom Cruise from the movie “Days of Thunder”
In the movie Days of Thunder, Tom Cruise is a young inexperienced race car driver. On his first day at the track, the crew chief tells him that it might not be a good idea for him to drive the car. He doesn’t trust in his ability to drive. It is at this point in the movie when the above quote is spoken.
I love to travel. I especially like a good “road trip”. Heading out on the road with the car loaded up with snacks is thrilling for me. You never know what you will see or what kind of fun you may experience along the way. I think the old saying “getting there is half the fun” is absolutely true. There’s just one little catch for me. In the first few years of my being a licensed driver, I had a couple of minor car accidents. None of which were my fault, and none of them really amounted to much in terms of injury. Also, two of the accidents were when someone else was driving. However, since then I am what you might call “anxious” in the car. Like the accidents I was in, I am constantly afraid we will run into the back of another car, or someone will pull out in front of us. The only real cure for this is for me to drive. Oh, but that is just not possible. Most of the time when we travel, we travel as a family. That means my husband drives. I decided a long time ago that if we were in the car together, my husband would drive. I just think that is the way it should be.
This means I have to sit back and let someone else have control of the wheel when we are on the road, no matter how anxious is makes me. It is the same for us on the road of life with God. God is to have control over of wheel. He should be directing us which way we go.
The bible says, Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. (ESV) It also says, Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. (ESV)
As easy as it was for me to decide that my husband would be the driver when we travel, it is not so easy to let God be the driver of my life. Letting God have complete control means allowing myself to be guided by someone else. It means giving up my own control. No matter how you look at it, that is not easy.
We live in a world that spouts messages of “taking control of one’s own destiny”, and “whatever you want go get it”, and “you can do it”. Not only does this not work, it is just wrong thinking. Psalm 103:19 The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all (NASB) God created this world and everything in it. And because He did, He rules over all of it and He has complete control. We may not like that, but it is true.
Besides, what happens when we do things on our own? Well, things sometimes work out ok, or at least they will look like they do. But doing things on our own is selfish and keeps the focus on us. The result builds up us instead of others. Selfishness doesn’t glorifying God. Our purpose on this earth is to glorify God, not ourselves. To do that, we must follow Him.
Why is it so hard to give up control? I think Tom Cruise’s statement from the movie can shed a little light here. He says to the crew chief, “I won’t make a fool out of you.” The crew chief didn’t want him to drive because he was afraid the inexperienced driver would mess up and then he would look bad. We to, are afraid of what will happen if we aren’t holding that wheel with our own hands.
That’s exactly what happens to me when my husband is driving. I’m afraid. My heart beats faster, my hands grip the side of the door, and I constantly telling him to “watch out”, or “slow down”. I may be saying to him that it is ok to drive, but I’m not really letting him. It’s because of that fear that I’m still trying to control him by telling him what to do. I’m afraid of what will happen. We do the same thing with God. But even with God, we can never know for sure what will happen.
Isaiah 55:8-9, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (NASB)
What we can be sure of is God loves us. He only wants what is best for us. Letting God have the wheel and guide us down the road is not a mistake. It is a blessing. The remedy to the fear of giving up our control is trust. Complete trust. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. ( ESV) Only then can we enjoy the road trip that we are on with Him. Because who wants to go through life anxious and afraid? Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.(NASB)
Whatever we are doing on our road of life, in order to give God control it helps to remember these steps:
First, give it over to God in prayer. ( Philippians 4:6)
Then, leave it in His capable hands. (Romans 4:21)
Next, replace our fear with trust. (Psalm 9:10)
And finally, praise him in the outcome and be joyful, no matter what it is. (Psalm 33:21)
Don’t worry about letting God drive. We never have to be afraid with God at the wheel. Give Him the keys today, and enjoy the ride.