She slid into the driver’s seat like she’d been doing this forever, adjusted the seat and the mirrors, took a deep breath and we started off from the bus stop toward home. Our daughter is still learning to drive, but has become quite comfortable with this 10-minute drive each afternoon.
Unlike the early days of this adventure, when she sat stiff in that front seat with big eyes and jerky movements (my stomach took more than one flip-flop as I tried to nonchalantly grasp the handle next to my passenger’s seat!), on this day she was relaxed and happy enough to turn up the radio and sing along.
She chattered on about her day at school, becoming quite passionate at one point about her latest assignment in art class. As her attention wandered, my eyes trained on the lane in front of us and I debated moment by moment whether I should knit-pick or just let her drive. But when we inched nervously close to the car in the next lane, I couldn’t help the correction, “Babe, you’re drifting!”
She made a quick adjustment, and all was well again. But I took the opportunity to point out that her attention can’t wander while she is driving – EVER! Drifting into someone else’s lane can hinder them from getting where they need to go – or worse. It can cause an accident that slows both drivers down, and may even lead to the added complications of damage or injury! In this particular case, it would have been my injuries that needed healing! Yikes! This parent/driving instructor thing is dangerous!!!
I smirked to myself as I remembered the day I placed the “student driver” magnet on the back of my car. As I decided on the most visible spot, I noticed that it was right next to another recently added magnet. Thinking it didn’t express much confidence to have them side by side, reading “student driver – heaven 4 sure!”, I decided to move the message about our eternal security to the other side of the car.
We can be sure of heaven and yet still endure quite a few detours and bumps in the road! And I couldn’t help but realize in that moment, that some of those complications can come simply from drifting into someone else’s lane!
To a fault, my mind is always processing. Ideas about how best to do this or that can keep churning out, even if it isn’t “my job” to tackle the situation in front of me. I can find myself exhausted simply because I am trying to do too much – sadly, things never intended for me to do in the first place. To compare leads only to despair, but I do it all too often. That glance sideways can leave me deflated, confused, and discontented. In an honest attempt to “make a difference,” I can run ahead of the Lord’s plans for me and find myself in a hot mess.
It is not hard for me to imagine the many times the Lord has grabbed my attention to affectively say to me, “My child, you’re drifting. Stay in your own lane. Fix your eyes on Me and the path I have prepared for you.”
And so, as we step into one of the busiest seasons of the year, I am reminded to check with Him first! To stay in my own lane. I don’t want to lose focus and find myself in a tangled (or just exhausted) mess!
May the Lord show me HIS plan, for me personally. May I not crowd someone else’s path, leaving both of us vulnerable to unnecessary complications. And may I remember that HIS plans are the ones that will draw me close to His side, where I can hear His voice, watch His hand, and get lost in the wonder of my Savior.
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established.
– Proverbs 4:25-26 –
Let us lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on JESUS.
– Hebrews 12:1-2 –