RIDING SHOTGUN

My husband is convinced I live in a bubble. He says I play in my bubble 90% of the time, only coming down when I need to accomplish a task. So many times, his theory has proven true – like the scenario that occurred several years ago. Ron dropped me off in front of Wal-Mart, I ran in, grabbed few things, and called him while I was in the checkout line. He informed me he would pick me up right outside the door. I exited the store, bag in hand, and saw my husband waiting right outside the doors as he’d promised. I hopped in the car, threw my bag in the floorboard, and looked over at Ron when I received quite a shock. It wasn’t Ron. At first I feared he’d been kidnapped, but then I realized I had gotten in the wrong car!

Due to my reflexes being off kilter from Multiple Sclerosis, coupled with a Morphine pump to control pain, I rarely drive. For clarification, I still have a valid driver’s license, still can drive, but for various reasons, including liability, I spend more time in the passenger’s seat than the driver’s seat. It has taught me some important lessons.

THE DRIVER IS IN CONTROL.

The driver has all the controls at his disposal, and makes the decisions on route, speed and timing. At times, the passenger may not agree with the driver’s decisions. “Why are we taking this route?” or “Can’t we go any faster?” Yet, the driver is behind the wheel, making the decisions.

Sometimes I feel that way in my Christian walk. “Lord, why are You taking me this direction?” or “Can’t we go any faster?” It’s then I remember the words from the Old Testament: He has made everything beautiful in its time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) I’m reminded I need to pray the prayer from Psalm 25:4-5 – particularly the phrase that says “Teach me YOUR path.”

THE DRIVER DOESN’T NEED ADVICE FROM THE PASSENGER.

In the past, if I’ve said, “I’m not sure you had the right of way,” or “Your blinker has been on for the past 30 miles,” my handsome chauffeur would shoot me a look as if to say, “I’m fully capable of handling this.”  Who likes receiving unwelcome advice or directions? I’m ashamed to admit there are times I find myself telling God how to handle things. I love how The Message phrases Job 22:21. Give in to God, come to terms with Him and everything will turn out just fine. Let Him tell you what to do. The last seven words say it perfectly. Let Him tell you what to do.

MAKE SURE YOU’RE IN THE CORRECT CAR WITH THE CORRECT DRIVER.

Even though the car looked identical to our vehicle, it was clearly not my car and certainly wasn’t my driver. Fact is, there are all kinds of cars that look like ours. It isn’t all that crazy that I mistakenly hopped in the wrong one. 1st Corinthians 16:13 reminds me to be alert and on guard – not jumping into situations without checking it out first. When we don’t check things out we can be deceived.

…pseudo-apostles, lying preachers, crooked workers—posing as Christ’s agents but sham to the core. And no wonder! Satan does it all the time, dressing up as a beautiful angel of light. So it shouldn’t surprise us when his servants masquerade as servants of God. - 2nd Corinthians 11:13 (The Message)

ENJOY THE JOURNEY!

I love riding shotgun! It allows me to stay in my bubble, look around at everything from houses to foliage, read a book, scan radio stations, eat a sandwich, or even perform a manicure. He reminds me in Isaiah 45:7 that He has it under control. “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create

In case you’re wondering what happened, I hopped out of the incorrect car as I explained the mishap to the stunned driver. I told him I was going to do my best to tell my husband how I was so excited to run into an old friend – though I knew Ron wouldn’t buy that story for a second. And that brings me to my final point…

YOU CAN’T FOOL THE DRIVER.

Psalm 139 makes this perfectly clear:

O Lord, you have examined my heart
    and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
    and when I rest at home.
    You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
    even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!

7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
    if I go down to the grave, you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
    if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
    and the light around me to become night—
12     but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
    Darkness and light are the same to you.

May we enjoy riding shotgun with the Master Driver, knowing He is in control, and if we surrender our lives to Him, He will drive us to the best destination of all – eternity with Him.