Jesus, Take the Wheel

My daughter Simone got her driver’s permit last week. For her very first time behind the wheel, I took her to the parking lot of a nearby mega church. I knew the lot would be empty during the day, which would give her plenty of room to practice. As long as Simone practiced driving along the painted lanes, it went well. But then it came time to venture out onto the residential streets.

Keeping it to under 25 mph, she did great. I was really proud of her (and really proud of myself for not white-knuckling the arm rests the entire time). Then we came to an intersection where I wanted her to turn left so we could avoid a busier street up ahead. The turn happened to be on a slope downhill, so we picked up more speed than Simone anticipated.

She made the turn.
With about an inch to spare.

We narrowly missed a parked car as I found myself instinctively reaching for the wheel. For a split moment, I really thought we were going to hit it. In a barely audible whisper, I asked Simone to pull over and park the car.

In a disappointed voice, she said, “Are we done already?”

“No,” I answered, “I just need to take a deep breath before we start again. That was pretty close. And a little too fast.”

We found a residential square block where we could circle it several times making all left-hand turns. I was on high alert, ready to take over in an instant.

I had purposed in my heart to be a really calm parent for our driving practice together, and I was. But it still surprised me how hard it was to relax in the passenger seat, especially after “that one turn.”

Of course, it’s only right that a parent be extra aware with a brand new driver behind the wheel of a car. But I wonder how often I react with the same anxiety whenever I ask God to take the lead in a certain area of life? Sometimes in prayer I give something over to God, then I sit perched and ready to take it back as soon as I perceive things to be going downhill.

Simone’s lessons in driving are revealing to me how much I prefer to be “behind the wheel” in most areas of my life. It’s hard to let go of total control. Thankfully, with Jesus at the wheel, I am in good hands.

9 thoughts on “Jesus, Take the Wheel

  1. And isn't it strange that we ever think we even have “total control”, since most things in life are beyond our immediate control anyway.

    The weather, the economy, the boss, the neighbors, etc. etc. – and yet we persist in thinking we either have it, or with greater effort can get it, all under control.

    Thank goodness there is Someone who really does have it all under control. Good job, Mom, on being a patient parent in the passenger seat.
    Blessings to you AND Simone – Marsha

  2. Hey D. J.,

    Great story and illustration! My 15 year old daughter has just started driving. I'm with you on the nerves!

    And, I'm sure that God will give me some great object lessons while she is driving. Oh boy! We're getting the permit on Thursday!

    Pray!

    Blessings to you,
    Melanie

  3. You speaka my language, girl. I've got a son with a permit too. One really does have to PURPOSE to not be a nervous wreck.

    How silly we are to think God needs our help the same way. But (ugh) I'm guilty too. Good analogy, friend.

  4. MY: That's so true. We do like to think we have more control over things than we really do. Thanks goodness Someone IS in control!

    LW21: Yep, we definitely can exert more control over our children's lives when they're young, but as they get older, there are more and more outside influences. All the more reason I'm thankful that Jesus is with us everywhere we go!

    Pamela: I think we can all relate to trying to jerk the wheel out of God's hands or telling Him where to take us. But you're right, life truly is so much better when He is at the wheel!

    Happily Ever: I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter's accident! That is so scary. Yes, “letting go and letting God” is always a challenge, but a challenge that yields the best outcome for all.

    Melanie: Let us know how the first driving experience goes! There are lots of great objects lessons to be found there indeed.

  5. Hey D. J.,

    Great story and illustration! My 15 year old daughter has just started driving. I'm with you on the nerves!

    And, I'm sure that God will give me some great object lessons while she is driving. Oh boy! We're getting the permit on Thursday!

    Pray!

    Blessings to you,
    Melanie

  6. How many times have I jerked the wheel out of God's hands? Or tell Him exactly where to drive? I may not like where all my life goes, but I have found that with God at the wheel, He's there wherever I go.

  7. My goodness, my daughter is only 9 and I am already dreading having to relinquish control – in driving and probably also in general! But so true, we just have to keep reminding ourselves to let Jesus take the wheel.

  8. And isn't it strange that we ever think we even have “total control”, since most things in life are beyond our immediate control anyway.

    The weather, the economy, the boss, the neighbors, etc. etc. – and yet we persist in thinking we either have it, or with greater effort can get it, all under control.

    Thank goodness there is Someone who really does have it all under control. Good job, Mom, on being a patient parent in the passenger seat.
    Blessings to you AND Simone – Marsha

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