Why Jesus Should NOT Take The Wheel
When I was a little kid, my grandpa frequently let me drive his car.
Not on the street or anything crazy. He’d simply pull into an abandoned parking lot, plop me on his lap, and let me manifest my own destiny.
It was beautiful.
And after his recent passing, I’ve been thinking about him—this man who was like a second father to me—and recalling all the memories we made together.
So it isn’t any wonder that, when we went to Confession as a family, he was still on my mind. And, as it turns out, illegal memories are helpful to have at Confession.
You see, when my husband walked inside to talk with the priest, I was left alone to entertain all my children, and the church courtyard was still muddy from a recent Texas rain. So there were five of us. Stuck in a van. For who knew how long.
I glanced around at the huge, empty parking lot, and then craned my neck to get a good view of my children who were buzzing with energy and giggles in the back seat.
What else was there to do but drive?
I tried to emulate the sparkle in my grandfather’s eyes and his adventurous grin.
“Wanna drive?” I asked, peeking at my kids in the rearview mirror.
At first, they didn’t believe me. But sure enough, I picked up my oldest and plopped her on my lap in the driver’s seat.
I shifted the van into drive and we were off, blazing through the parking lot at a solid 5 miles per hour. Though, to my daughter, it probably felt more like 5 million.
First she turned one way. Then another. And another.
It was exhilarating for her, no doubt, to wrap her small fingers around the steering wheel and choose her own direction. Her own destiny.
Of course, her legs were too short to reach the pedals, so she depended on me to do all the starting and stopping. And without the boost of my lap, she couldn’t see above the dash.
But regardless, with the wheel gently humming in her hands and a wide open road before her, she felt like she could really do something. Attack the world. Be big.
She nodded at the cars in front of us, sitting on the opposite end of the parking lot. “Think I can make it between those two cars?” she asked with sheer determination.
I chuckled. “How about you stick to the open road for now?”
She nodded again, clutching the wheel.
She turned, looped, then turned once more, and we found ourselves heading straight for the fenced-in playground. Her body tensed in my lap.
“Mom…” my name trembled on her lips. The tiny girl didn’t know how to avoid disaster. Didn’t know which way to turn the wheel. So together, we inched closer and closer to the end of the road. “Moooom.“
As we neared the curb, I pressed the brake and we slid safely to a stop.
My daughter’s body relaxed. She turned to me with a relieved smile on her face and threw her arms around my neck. “I knew we wouldn’t crash. I knew you’d never let that happen.”
In that moment, with my daughter’s face pressed against my shoulder, it hit me. That’s life. Life with Jesus, at least.
I’ve heard that we should let Jesus take the wheel, but maybe He doesn’t want to drive at all.
Maybe He’s the guy working the brakes.
And, instead of doing all the fun stuff Himself, He pulls over and grins at me in his rearview mirror.
“Wanna drive?” He asks, His eyes glinting with adventure.
Then, sure enough, He plops me on his lap in the driver’s seat, shifts the car into gear and we’re off, blazing through life at a solid 5 miles per hour. Though, to me, it can feel more like 5 million.
Of course, my legs are too short to reach the pedals, so I depend on Him to do all the starting and stopping. And without the boost of his lap, I couldn’t even see above the dash.
But regardless, with the wheel gently humming in my hands, my life a wide open road before me, I feel like I can really do something. Attack the world. Be big.
It’s exhilarating, wrapping my fingers around the steering wheel and choosing my own direction. My own destiny.
First I turn one way. Then another. And another. Sometimes I’ll ask for His advice. But usually, I simply stare down the road with sheer determination.
Eventually, I make a wrong turn that leads us hightailing it toward a dead end. My body tenses in His lap.
“Jesus…” His name trembles on my lips. I don’t know how to avoid disaster. Don’t know which way to turn. So together, we inch closer and closer to the end of the road. “Jeeesuuuuuus.“
Just before we crash, He presses the brake and we slide safely to a stop.
My body relaxes. I turn to Him with a relieved smile on my face and throw my arms around His neck.
“I knew we wouldn’t crash. I knew You’d never let that happen.”