Sunday, April 26, 2009

Who's in the Driver's Seat? By Heidi Avery

My husband travels from time to time and taking care of our 3 children on my own for 3 or 4 nights can be difficult sometimes. Sometimes when I need a break from cooking dinner I will turn to the convenience of fast food which the kids look at as a treat, so everybody’s happy. I even go so far as to take them two places to get them what they all want and that is an even bigger hit with the kids! So, for the girls it’s chicken Mc-nuggets from McDonalds and for my son it’s a juicy flame-broiled cheeseburger from Burger King.

My husband was gone last week and it was only a day later that I was ready for my break from the kitchen and the kids were ready for there fast food favorites. Fortunately for me, there happens to be a Burger King right across the street from a McDonalds here. We hit McDonalds first and then were on our way to the next stop. At the exit I was met with a very busy street of traffic. I needed to make it all the way across to get to the Burger King. It was so busy that I could only make it to the middle turning lane where I sat and waited for an opportunity to move across.

As I sat in the middle waiting, my 7 year old “back seat driver” (Hannah) says “mom, GO already!” I just looked at her in the rearview mirror and with a giggle I said “don’t you trust me to get you wherever we are going?” Then she giggled and said, “yes mom.” I also continued to explain to her that if I didn’t sit right there and wait patiently for the traffic to clear then we would likely be struck by an on coming car and we’d be hurt and could even be killed. She got it and sat quietly while I waited for my opportunity to move.

Once safely across the street and all fast food orders placed and delivered we headed home. I began to think about my little “back seat driver” and upon further thought the Lord laid a question on my heart…”don’t you trust Me to get you wherever you are going?” I was left with an unsettling, although not too surprising realization about myself…

I am a back seat driver too.

I suspect we are all guilty of being God’s “know-it-all” back seat drivers. We carelessly kick God out of the driver’s seat taking the wheel right out of His hands. In the mad rush to get here or there, looking for quick results and our own easy answers. Before we know it we get swept up right into our fast paced whirl-wind world. In the process we rush right past God and into our own plans for our life.

I don’t know about you, but I am confronted a lot with the truth of God’s timing. BIG SURPRISE… it’s not our own! But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. Peter 3:8

When we rush ahead of God we could be headed into disaster, skidding off of His narrow path right into wide uncertain territory. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we’ve veered off path until we’re in the thick of sin. His word clearly tells us to "Enter through the narrow gate for small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to 'eternal' life, only a few find it. Stay away from the broad way and wide gate that leads to destruction." Matthew 7:13

What a loving Father we have that He “…goes before us and will be with us.” Deuteronomy 31:8 God has lovingly cleared the path ahead of us, and within that path are "plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

If we find ourselves taking short cuts we may also miss the rich, beautiful scenery of blessings and opportunities that He has planned for us along the ride. We must have self-control and learn to “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him” Psalm 37:7

It’s hard for a 7 year old back seat driver and I think sometimes it is equally as hard for a 36 year old back seat driver. That’s why we need to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 Once we have humbled ourselves and are prepared to kneel at the feet of Jesus, He will always be faithful to provide either a "yes," my daughter, or "no," my child, or a "wait," my obedient servant as my timing will forever produce the sweetest of blessings for you.

Lord, there is nothing better then knowing I am on your path and that You have beautiful plans for me. Help me to seek and wait for your perfect guidance in my life and deny my impatient nature. I don’t want to make my way onto the wide path away from Your plans for me. I don’t want to miss the blessings and opportunities that will above all else bring glory to Your holy and matchless name.


  1. Heidi-

    What an amazing reminder! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and giving great things to think about. It is so comforting that God has an amazing plan for us and we just have to surrender completely to him and trust.

  2. I loved your blog Heidi! I liked the part about missing God's blessing when we take matters into our own hands and vere off of His path and onto our own. God's ways are perfect and it really is foolishness not to follow down His path of righteousness, but we are human and therefore this comes so naturally for us. We need to pray that we find ourselves in line with God's supernatural ways instead of our own natural ways that lead us right into sin: a place where God's blessing is absent. His plans will ultimately prevail, but will we choose to create our own plans and miss the blessing that he has in store for us along the way? I pray we can stay in step with God's will each and every day in order for Him to be glorified daily!!

  3. Hey Heidi---I am truly a back seat driver and trying to learn how to let go of the imaginary wheel I tend to see in my hands! Thank you for summing it up so profoundly and truthfully! I am blessed by your blog!