Trust The Driver
I grew up in a military family. My father, my grandfather, my great-grandfather, and as far back as you can trace our family history, there hasn’t been a male who at some point in time wasn’t enlisted in the defense of this nation. Part of being in a military family means that you move frequently. In fact, my childhood was marked by living in a variety of different places. I was born in Tacoma, Washington but during the next 12 years I would spend time living in Greece, Nebraska, Michigan, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Georgia. It seemed as if we were uprooted by the U.S. Air Force every 3 years.
As a result, we never lived close to our extended family members. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins were people who I only saw during the holidays. And more times than not it meant that my family was going to be taking a very long drive, usually a trip that took a couple of days at the very least. Generally, it would start the same way. My parents would tell me that we were going to South Carolina to see my mother’s side of the family for Christmas. The night before we left we would pack up everything that we needed for the week-long trip. Then, early the next morning we would load up the car, my father would climb in behind the steering wheel, and we would begin that long 2 day drive.
Now, here’s the thing. Never once in all those years did I know the direction we were traveling. Sure, I knew the final destination but I was completely clueless as to how to get there. Maps meant nothing to me. I didn’t know the first thing about driving. I didn’t even know east from west. All I knew was that every year without fail my father got me to where I needed to be at the exact moment I needed to be there. Yes, I asked him a hundred times if we were there yet but never once did I actually worry or question his ability to safely and successfully get us there. From beginning to end I trusted the entire trip to him. Through the darkest night or the harshest storm I was at peace. As long as he was driving I was secure.
Over the years I have often thought of that very illustration as it relates to my own life. How much easier my journey would be if I would just once again trust my Father with all the details. But far too often I try to seize the steering wheel and take control. Too many times I try to guide the journey from my limited view in the backseat. Rather than just trusting Him, I allow fear and worry to navigate. And in the end? I usually end up far from my intended destination if not altogether lost.
I’ll be completely honest with you. The past year has been very hard. Most days I have no clue where I am right now. I gaze out the “window” and nothing looks even vaguely familiar. Some days it is storming so hard that I can barely see the road 10 feet in front of me. There have even been a number of times when I have been tempted to bolt, to throw open the door and make a run for it. But through it all there has been a constant awareness that my Father is at the wheel and that He is in control. In fact, it is at those very moments when I feel like my world is coming completely undone that I remember something I have told my own children on numerous occasions, “Just because you don’t know where we are going that doesn’t mean I am lost.”
Over the past 6 months I have been sharply reminded that many times in life the best thing we can do is trust the Driver. Our Father will never fail us. He will get us to the exact place we need to be at the exact moment we need to be there. Not one minute early. And not one minute late. For our part we just need to learn to rest in His compassion and power. He has everything under control and He is not lost in the journey of life. From beginning to end we can trust Him. Through the darkest night and the harshest storm we can be at peace. As long as our heavenly Father is “driving” we are secure.