Ok, I am really 59 years old,
and God is teaching me how to drive a car.
I didn’t just wake up from a coma, nor do I live in New York. I grew up in a generation that wanted to drive as soon as we could, and I I have been driving a car for more than 40 years.
But recently, God has invited me to something I find rather amazing, and driving back and forth to home and work hasn’t been the same since. I actually have a great commute!
In my work I am blessed with the opportunity to work with Scripture. I have been working many years suggesting to clients that a verse, Matthew 15:17-18, could suggest that what a person does or says describes their self… and no other.
“Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.”
In other words… it is not what words are forced on us, what actions are forced on us, that defile us. Only the things we say, and the things we do, in response, define who we are. Those things others have done to us - as horrible as they have been - defined them… NOT us!
So what does this have to do with driving?
I am driving down the road and God says “get in the slow lane and set the cruise control.” I see up ahead one person in the slow lane going 65 (on a 70mph highway) and another car right next to them doing the same speed. I can feel the heat begin to rise. I tell God “why do they do that! They are doing the same speed! Get in the same lane! Why hinder traffic! (which actually means “why hinder me!”). God said stay calm. Let them do what they are going to do, you focus on what you are doing. By the time I caught up to them, the right lane person exited, clearing the path ahead of me. In my mind I felt relieved of some hidden stress.
Later this big truck pulls right in front of me, as he crossed 3 lanes of moving traffic to get to the exit lane to our right! I immediately began yelling about how that truck has interfered with this thing God was trying to teach me, and how the truck driver should have gone to the next exit, and what was he thinking crossing multiple lanes of moving traffic endangering everyone!
God told me “You spend a lot of energy trying to drive everyone else’s car. Its like you bring them into the courtroom of your mind, and have found him guilty of traffic safety violations, have sentenced him, and are angry at yourself for not having the power to enforce your sentence on him. If you got his license, report him. If not, keep moving. He is likely to lose the gifts he has been given, or not. Either way that is his life. Focus on yours.”
The rest of the trip was me reciting this mantra: “you do what you do, I will do what I will do.”
Of course the mantra isn’t the point, and this article is not on “how to get home in one peace.” What I learned was how easy it is to be distracted by everything around me; and by letting it go, how easy it is to spend time with God in a peace that goes way beyond understanding.
Now I get, some of you might respond to this by saying “that’s just naive - grow up old man!” But, I have been driving to and from home at peace in rush-hour traffic the last week! Can you say the same about your commute?
If you want help if figuring out how to get to this peace in the midst of chaos, I am happy to help!
Contact us here at Spirit Christian Counseling Centers: