SOMETIMES THE BACK SEAT IS BEST
We are all familiar with that 90’s classic song ‘Jesus take the wheel’. Despite the strong element of cheese, all Christ followers the world over can relate with the sentiment.
More recently I’ve found myself eager to put myself in the driver’s seat of my life. In a vain hope to plan my next success, to plot my own course that would get me a foot ahead of the competition. This only fed my desire for comparison and only ever ended in a circle of restless living.
I’ve been wrestling between that proverbial ‘now and not yet’. I’ve just finished a summer of highs, riding those mountain tops moments and enjoying time getting lost in the accolades.
But yet in this season I’ve found myself with a restless heart, full of distraction, angst, and greedy for more. I’ve often found my thoughts wandering outside the present moment and into the things I cannot control. This is the battle of control that goes on within me.
‘The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps’ – Proverbs 16:9
I’m finding as a follower of Christ that it is becoming clearer to me that the only plans I need to make are the ones that lead me to the Father’s feet. He will then determine my steps. It’s here in this location that allows my soul to rest, to process, just to be!
Augustine said, ‘You have made us for yourself, o lord and our heart is restless until it rests in you’.
Prayer is a restless man’s remedy. Prayer is the intersection between vision and reality. It’s truly the only place where we can surrender not only our plans, but our very being to God.
This is my back seat…
Recently I jumped in the back seat and allowed the Father to direct me to meditate on psalms:
‘My heart is not proud, Lord my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content’ – Psalms 131:1-3
My contentment originates from my maker. My restless heart is not a symptom of my view of insufficient achievement, but a symptom of distance that I created from the intimacy my Father intended.
The world in which we live is becoming more cluttered. Sometimes even church informs us to be on the front seat; arms high, sing loud, and press on through the emotions. It has been said that “we should worship, despite how we feel” and I agree, but I would also encourage it to be authentic.
Perhaps sometimes the true offering whilst battling the restless heart is to sit down buckle into the back seat and wait on the Lord.
Father, would I keep my eyes firmly fixed on you. Help me to not concern myself with the things that seek to keep my gaze from you. Lord keep me humble. I say that my soul rests and finds contentment in you. Father, I choose to hand over what I cannot control and steward well the things you have given me. I choose to be present with my family, my community and the world around me.
I trust you to establish my steps. Amen