July 16, 2013
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
“I want to drive the Ducks!” said Waylan.
“Me too!” echoed Ellie.
We were on an outing to the Wisconsin Ducks Boat Ride in Wisconsin Dells. The Ducks are World War II amphibious vehicles that can drive on land and water. Built for the Army, these beasts can be found at a variety of tourist spots. In the Dells, they travel through woods, into the Wisconsin River as well as Lake Delton.
After bounding over pot-filled roads and getting caught up in the current of the Wisconsin River, the water was quiet on Lake Delton. Our driver, a 20-something-year-old college student, asked if anyone in our duck was interested in driving. Since half of the people on our duck were under 12, all of their hands shot up. Our driver allowed each child a few minutes to steer the huge wheel and take us around Lake Delton.
During Waylan’s turn, he peaked over the wheel so he could see where he was going. The very last driver was three-year-old Ellie. She was also the youngest driver. When it was her turn, suddenly, she wasn’t so sure. With a little coaxing and me staying close at hand, she soon had a huge smile on her little face as she guided us through the calm waters. It was impossible for her to see over the giant steering wheel in her hands. It really didn’t matter that she looked everywhere else but the direction the Duck was headed.
Many years ago, I was in a small group and we were asked to illustrate our spiritual journey on a piece of tag board. Some people wrote words. My illustration was a picture. There is a reason I am not an artist. With elementary drawing skills, I drew a cliff on one side of a road and a lush field on the other side, filled with trees, flowers and a big sun. On the road, I placed a car, with me in the back seat. My explanation included this: life is often like this road. There is a cliff on one side and a beautiful valley on the other side. My life works best when I sit in the backseat of the car and allow God to drive. My natural tendency is to want to hop in the front seat and take over God’s job. Yes, I am to use my brain, skills and wisdom to keep the car from going over the cliff. But when I allow God to steer the vehicle, I stay farther away from the cliff.
Who is driving your car? How close are you to the edge of the cliff? When things do not go as you desire, do you want to hop into the front seat and take over God’s job? What would an illustration of your spiritual journey look like? Are your eyes fixed on Jesus or are you looking at everything else instead of God’s direction?
It is our natural tendency to want to drive, Lord God. Sometimes we do and things go OK. Other times when we drive, we get too close to the cliff. Almighty God, please help us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus as the guide of our spiritual lives. Encourage us to simply enjoy the ride you desire to take us on! Amen.