The View From the Passenger Seat

When does 35 mph feel like 100 mph?  When it’s your teenager driving.

Lonna has been learning to drive for a few months now.  It’s getting better for me in the passenger seat (the incidents of gripping the armrest and breathing in sharp intakes of air have faded drastically), yet it’s still odd.  I’m THE driver, ya know?  I am the one who drives us everywhere.  Even when my husband is in the car, it’s often me who drives.  Sitting in the passenger seat with my hands lying in my lap searching aimlessly for something to do is foreign and something I don’t much like.  I like to be the driver.  I guess I like the control.

As Lent approaches, I am thinking a lot about control.  About the things and people and influences that drive my life, and they are a lot scarier than fifteen year olds with learner’s permits.

What drives me? I confess that far too often, the driver is indeed me.  My wants.  My desires.  My emotions.  My passions.  My sins.  And God?  Where is He in all this?  In the driver’s seat?  The passenger seat?  Even in the vehicle?

Great Lent is a time to gain control of our bodies.  Our minds.  Our prayers.  A time to control what we put into ourselves in an effort to open ourselves to what God wants out of us.  Eat less.  Give more.  Less and more.  More and less.  Decreasing so He can increase.

So, we approach this multifaceted time of give and take.  I must remember that I am not in control of the world or the events of my life.  To learn this, I actually focus on control.  Not the illusion of control, but the awesome quest of controlling myself.  Saying no to me is saying yes to God.

Great Lent.  A driving journey to the Cross.  The Resurrection.  Lord, help me on the journey.  Show me the way I should go.  The view from the passenger seat is lovely, when it is the driving force of Your mercy beside me.


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