Something that has terrified me since the moment I became a parent happened last week. My eldest son wrote and passed the learners test. Yes, I now have a student driver. I’m actually getting off easily because in the province in which we reside the age to get your learners is fourteen so I could have two and the Lord knows I’m not ready for that.
About an hour after I received the text from him that he was now legal, and also requesting his first driving lesson, he arrived at my place of employment with his father. He was wearing his aviator sunglasses, hat turned backwards, jingling the keys, and let’s not forget the huge smile. My husband was pale faced and I tried to see past his wide eyes and gritted teeth as he said our son was a ‘decent’ driver.
Our first born was overjoyed at his newfound independence, even if it meant his parents were tagging along everywhere he wanted to drive for the next twelve months. It was also the first time I didn’t hear how uncool our minivan was. It’s amazing how those things become insignificant when it’s the only mode of transportation that will get you from your learners to your official license.
I’m not sure how it happened but I became the one who was volun-told to accompany this new licensed youth on most trips, and honestly I’m happy about that. It’s the best we’ve gotten along ever! It’s great! I sit in the passenger seat, prattling on about how soon he should stop at stop signs, how he should always remember shoulder checks, and who can forget, “Watch your speed!” One night last week, instead of turning toward home he turned toward the highway. I asked him what he was doing and he basically told me he was tired of doing 50km/h and felt he should tackle the highway.
I’m not gonna lie, I was a bit panic stricken at the thought and tried to no avail to get him to reconsider. Before I knew it we were hurtling down the highway toward Edmonton doing 110km/h. I honestly had no clue that our van was capable of reaching that speed in so little time. I held on to my door handle, and smiled, my teeth gritted. I resisted the urge to grab hold of the wheel to help him out. The whole experience didn’t last long, he signalled onto the range road that brought us back into town and I looked over at him, proud as I could be.
I realized just how proud I was of him. He is a confident, and capable young man, and a really good driver I might add!
What does this have to do with anything? Well, sometimes life feels like we’re hurtling down the highway, going well over the speed limit, no exit in sight. It feels like our life is in the hands of a new driver, someone who can’t be trusted to read the signs and make the turns. It seems like things are just out of control, like we’re not even on the right road and there isn’t any where to turn it around. We dig our nails into the door and smile with gritted teeth, all the while in our head we’re wondering, ‘God where are you in all of this?’
Though we tend to make the primary characters in the biblical story, I am oft compelled to wonder if they ever asked the same question? Abraham while waiting for his promised son? Joseph while in a hole in the ground for two years? Moses while a fugitive on the backside of the desert? The disciples while fighting for the lives in a storm on the sea? Paul when he was beaten and left for dead by his own countrymen? Could it be possible when faced with such “out of control” circumstances, they too wondered? Of course, we have the advantage as Paul Harvey would say, to know the “rest of the story”!
The beautiful thing is, He is the one behind the wheel. Isaiah reminds us that, “The Lord of hosts has sworn: ‘As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand” and Psalm 118:6 reminds us that, “The Lord is on my side…” Knowing this, the best thing for us to do is not grab hold of the wheel, but give him complete control, allow him to take you down the road, following the right route and making the appropriate turns. So, relax and enjoy the scenery, chat with Him about the journey, listen to the songs He sings over us, anything but take control.