There was something different about my car when the valet brought it up to me this past Sunday. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something was off. I began adjusting the seat, the rear-view mirror, and pressing buttons until I could figure it out. Was something missing?
In that time I began noticing all the features in my car—from a sunroof to the window wipers, side view mirrors, cup holders, and even the button to change the car from Sport mode to Eco drive (dangerous switch if you’ve ever let me drive you anywhere). It made me think about how long someone spent designing this car. A lot of thought went into it. It was someone’s job to make sure it not only appealed to customers visually, but also met high safety standards—I hope.
I still hadn’t figured it out, but it really got me thinking about how easy it was for me to drive. All I had to do was push a button. And beyond physically driving a car, I realized how much control I had in my life. Up to this point, I’ve made decisions about how I live my life similar to how I chose my car. I saw it, I liked it, and I bought it!
It was about two years ago when I went into a dealer ready to make the change. There were no second thoughts; I didn’t even shop around. I walked in for the test drive, loved how it made me feel, and about three and a half hours later… I was signing my name on the dotted lines. This was just a car, but I wonder how many times we make everyday life decisions in the same way. For instance, applying for a new job… maybe you sent your resume out to several places—here comes the first reply, and you take it! Or you meet someone new, you start spending more time together, days roll into weeks, and next thing you know you’ve committed your whole heart to someone whose last name you can hardly pronounce. How did I get here, and what was I thinking?
Of course, sometimes we don’t have the luxury to spend months getting advice or even reflecting on the things we must do. Sometimes we have to act right now. But it’s in those times that I wish I just had that knee-jerk reaction to do the best thing. WWJD? What would Jesus actually do if he was me, right now, and living in 2016? I don’t think that often enough I consult God when it’s time to make a move. I just see it, I like it, and I buy it!
God is described as our Wonderful Counselor in the bible (Isaiah 9:6); He is the one that should direct our paths and make them straight. If I keep relying on myself instead of trusting Him, I’m probably never going to get it right. That means we need to spend more time in prayer. We need to seek His counsel by opening our hearts to Him through constant communication; talk to God. It’s almost as easy as pushing the button to turn on the car. All you have to do is speak.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Can we actually do that? I truly believe that if we make enough decisions relying on God, then we will soon have that knee-jerk reaction to do His will. It’s the small decisions from yesterday that lead to the big disappointments of today. And that’s true in all of our lives. One “yes” or another “no” led you to where you are right now. Are you still driving?
Maybe you’re not ready to sit in the passenger seat of your own car. After all, you bought it and it’s your hard earned money that keeps paying for it. But who gave it to you to begin with? Just know that there is a God that is working all things together for your good (Romans 8:28).
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…” Jeremiah 29:11
As for me, the only thing that was off with my car that day was that I finally realized I had been sitting on the wrong side for far too long. I know who I want in the driver’s seat now.