I’m not gonna lie. I’m a little bit proud that I’ve made something of an art out of crafting passive-aggressive suggestions and handy driving tips that will help you improve safety and make my ride as your passenger more enjoyable. It’s a public service, really. My husband knows this now, but was not aware of it when we got married. While we have evolved to being somewhat more “driving compatible” now, we were at a resentful stalemate for many years over this very issue. Ah, love.
Here’s a nickle’s worth of free advice: Make sure you take a road trip with someone before you marry them. When my husband first started driving in upstate NY, his chill California-dude personality politely eased into the flow with that sort of riding-the-left-lane and driving-the-exact-posted-speed-limit kind of a way that made me, a born-and-raised-New-Yorker, develop an eye twitch. Once, after being wickedly cut off in traffic, he politely waved his hand at the other driver and sort of shrugged in a, “Meh, it happens,” kind of way. Of course, being perpetually in a NY state of mind, I quickly sprung into action, dove across him to grab the wheel and lay on the horn so I could send a clear message of “Jerk!” on his behalf, as he did not speak our lingo. We got into a mini-slap fight right then and there, turned up Veggie Tales for the kids so we could shout at each other as we navigated over to church. Jesus TAKE THE WHEEL.
Speaking of which: “Jesus take the wheel” isn’t actually a valid prayer. Either we give Jesus the wheel, or we don’t. Jesus, unlike Alicia, won’t lean over and try to grab the wheel every time your life is careening out of control toward a cliff and you finally call on His name. When you choose to submit your life to Jesus Christ, the wheel is handed over freely. No takesies-backsies. Keep your hands inside, secure any loose articles, sit back and enjoy your ride.
Asking Jesus to “take the wheel” when we first get saved is one thing. That’s a legit exchange of power and control. However, going forward, why are we asking Him again? Did we just get too busy driving to the grocery store for some cigarettes, a few scratch offs and a Mountain Dew when Satan tried to take out one of our kids with drugs? Or when we got cancer? Or when our home got foreclosed on?? OK, JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL! At what point did we take it back from Him!? We have to figure out who is driving- and who isn’t. Do you want to get into a slap fight with Jesus?! Also, we have to stop leaning over His lap and beeping the horn too.
Take heart, friends: “I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6). Let Jesus drive. You can trust Him. He’s a better driver than you are. “For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him. And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
To sum it up: When you’re on a roadtrip with Jesus, He pays for the gas. BUT. Jesus doesn’t take wheels. Are you picking up what I’m laying down? He doesn’t rip them out of our white-knuckled death grip. We give Jesus our wheels right up front and we let Him do the driving from that point on. Also, Alicia does take wheels, even when you don’t ask her to. Sigh. Pray for me (and my husband!).