Thursday, September 8, 2011

Who's In Your Driver's Seat?

Four months ago we acquired a small, grey ball of fluff with eyes, teeth and a fluffy tail who goes by the name of Zeus, affectionately nicknamed the “Jaws of Destruction”.

He’s capable of chewing through any cell phone charger, speaker cable, phone cord or headphone wire faster than a chainsaw eats through a 2 x 4. He’s very efficient, one...two...three bites and he’s done – the cord is in pieces.

Lately when we open the door he’s taken to dashing through our legs, scurrying down the sidewalk and charging across the street. He’s three lawns down before you even know he’s escaped. Fearing for his life we went to the pet store this weekend in search of a device to serve as a barrier on the porch to slow his race for freedom.

When we pulled up to the pet store this is what we saw. 

I couldn’t resist turning to my husband and stating the obvious, “Look there’s a dog driving that car!” It actually looked quite natural, and yet...not!

This made me stop and ask the question, “Who’s in my driver’s seat?” Do I cling desperately to things in life beyond my control, stressing myself out? Do I trust God enough to open my clenched fists and relinquish control to Him? Am I trying to be tourist, navigator and driver all at once or have I allowed God to take over the role of navigator and driver while I enjoy the journey?

I must confess I have a few “control issues”.  Anyone who knows me is rolling on the floor laughing at the magnitude of that understatement. OK, I have HUGE, GIGANTIC, GARGANTUAN, HUMUNGOUS (insert any other “large” adjective here) control issues! I like to do things my way, on my time schedule, in the location of my choice. 

I’ve read various articles over the years indicating the need to be “in control” stems from a low self-image, and feelings of inferiority and insecurity. I can honestly say this holds true in my case. Over the years I’ve struggled with all three of these self-defeating attitudes.

There's good news though. In the last few years I’ve relaxed my tight grip on control. Why is that? I’ve found someone I can trust who always provides for me and meets my every need; someone who always gives what's best for me, even when I don’t know what "the best" is.

Any idea who I'm talking about? God. I’ve learned to give up control and trust God with a lot of things in my life. I’ve learned I don’t always have to have the answers, that sometimes it’s OK just to ask questions, ponder the possibilities and leave the answers up to God. Life isn’t perfect and I’ve realized I don’t have to be either. I just need to be genuine, truthful and teachable.

You can trust God in your life, too.  Here’s some reassurance straight from God’s word, the Bible...

“For I know the plans I have for you, “ says the Lord, “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honour. Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 (NLT)

“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27

“The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.” Isaiah 58:11 (NLT)

“Don’t worry about anything; instead , pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

It’s time to finally let go of that exhausting need to be in control. It might take a few attempts before you succeed, but start by asking God today to take your cares and burdens on His shoulders. Then keep coming back to Him in prayer with your worries and learn to trust Him fully. Who do you want in your driver’s seat?

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