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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Irritated Passengers


"Take me there" we say to our taxi and Uber drivers. We call on them to help us out and get us somewhere. We give them permission to take us.

But some immediately lack confidence in their driver the minute the journey starts. Though there is paperwork to prove he is certified to get them there, some passengers still question the driver's ability and doubt his decision-making. The passengers might begin to complain that he's going too fast, or going too slow, or taking a route that they don't prefer. Even at the end of the trip, after the driver has proven himself by safely taking them to their destination, the passengers may still continue to complain - not because the driver didn't do his job and get them to their destination, but because the passengers weren't the ones calling the shots along the way. For the passengers, it wasn't just about getting there, it was about getting there their way. It was about being in control through the process.

Many of us have spoken similar words to the Driver of our lives. We pray sincere and earnest prayers with strong words like, "Take me there. Take my life. Have your way." It's a bold prayer to say to a God that is willing to actually take us up on the offer.

And for some of us, the trip of Him getting us there might look something like this...

We excitedly jump into the passenger's seat as He whisks us off to our destination. At first we have full trust in our Driver until....until we notice He just made a left at an intersection that we would have gone straight at. We try to relax in our seats, but we watch as He continues to make choices we would never make and starts going down roads we would naturally avoid. Suddenly, He slows down completely because He says there is much to see at this point in the journey. He tells us it's best if we move a little slower because He doesn't want us to miss anything. We grow impatient as we check our watches and wonder if He has actually forgotten completely about the original destination we were headed toward. Irritation begins to rise up inside of us and we decide to call our friends and complain all about it.  

We say, "This is so annoying! I thought this trip would be fun but all it's doing is irritating me! I don't know where He's going. I don't know what He's doing. He's taken me down so many unfamiliar roads, I can't even tell you where I actually am right now! AHHH!"

Our friends nod their heads and reassure us that we're actually in really Good Hands. They've had similar trips with the Driver and they say He's always pulled through. He never let them down and we can be confident He won't let us down. He's the best Driver on the planet and there is no one better that we can trust.

We shake our heads as we hang up, still unsure about this whole thing, as the Driver turns around and says with a smile, "Don't worry, I didn't forget where we're going. We'll get there. I promise." We realize He just overheard everything we said.

Then He suddenly guns the gas and speeds His way past all the other drivers. He redeems the time as He quickly maneuvers us through the back roads He just took us down. We tighten our seat belts as we lean back in our seats. We're pleased that at least we're not feeling stagnant anymore, but the irritation remains as He is now moving faster than what we prefer. "Can't He just find a pace that maybe I'M comfortable with?? GEESH!" we mumble under our breaths.

He looks in the rear view mirror and says again with a smile, "The best thing for you to do is rest those tired eyes of yours, my friend. Ya know, there is rest in this journey." We are worn out by our own anxiety.

In the end, the Driver gets us there. There's no question about that. He has lived up to all His Promises along the way and hasn't let us down. But just like the passengers that exit the taxi or the Uber, we still find ourselves agitated. We realize then, for us, it wasn't just about getting there and provision being made, it was about getting there our way. It was about being in control through the process.

We step back and realize that we had forgotten the conversation we had with God before the trip started. We were the ones that said, "Here I am God. I am yours. Take my life. Take me there." And that was exactly what He did. He only answered the very prayers that came out of our mouths.

God will always get us there. He's faithful to get the job done. But He'll get it done His way, not ours. And just as we can't tell our taxi or Uber drivers (or bus drivers or airplane pilots) how to do their jobs, we can't try to tell God how to do His. And, honestly, why would we want to, anyway? He's the Professional. He's the One that's gone before us and has driven the trip already. He's the One that knows where He's going and the best way to get there. We'd be doing ourselves a big favor, then, if we just let go of trying to control Him and let Him do what He does best - be our God.

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