Here is a compilation of lessons gleaned from driving that I hope we can all benefit from:
You are NOT the Driver
Everyone has that friend who is a backseat driver. You know the type: gets upset if you don’t see the green light right away, freaks out if you get too close to the car in front of you, or yells angrily at inconsiderate drivers nearby. They need to be in control of their surroundings, and they need to know where you are going at all times.
Of course, being mindful and prepared for all situations is important and even wise, but the truth of the matter is, the back seat driver is NOT actually in control of how the ride will go. They are not the one who gets to determine when to go, when to stop, or when to take a detour. And it is truer that when we ourselves are the back seat drivers, and we forget who is driving, we and the other passengers will be in for a very annoying car ride.
Jesus gives us an example of what it means to live with God as our driver, and we take the passenger seat in Matthew: “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20)
Jesus literally made his dwelling place in the place of uncertainty–not knowing where he will even sleep the next night. This is what allowed for perfect dependence on the Father. He forfeited his own right to know the future, which was completely at His disposal, to give us an example of what faith might look like. Similarly, we ought to depend on God not because He tells us where to go or has the directions, but because he makes everything worthwhile. He is the destination, the goal, and the road trip buddy along the way.
Drive In Your Lane-Comparison
When we navigate our lives with a spirit of comparison, we are subjecting ourselves to two different possibilities:
1. Not Foreseeing Our Blind spots, or 2. Losing our Way.
In the Parable of the Pharisee and tax collector, we see a prime example of how comparison can lead us to the blind spot of pride.
The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ (Luke 18:11-12)
In this passage, the Pharisee is in a sense competing and racing against the drivers near him. Since he appears better on the surface, he is oblivious to his sin of pride. When we compare ourselves to others, it can make us boastful and not humble enough to take correction from others or God.
When we choose not to drive in our lane and look to what others are doing, it could also make us miss what God is really doing within our own lives. After Peter is reinstated to Jesus upon denying him three times, Jesus reprimands him for concerning himself for what will happen to John (John 21). Jesus wants us to be set upon the unique calling and find the joy of embracing that calling--not imitating others’ callings! We serve a creative creator who has intricate plans and purposes for each of us. When we don’t drive in our lane, it could cost us losing vision for where we are headed.
Why Lease When You Can Buy?
When I first moved to California, I was amazed by how many nice cars there were everywhere. It seemed that everyone I met drove a Lexus or a high-model car. It wasn’t until a few months later I realized that most of these cars were leased, and not actually an accurate gauge of the incomes of those around me.
In the same way, there are times we can invest an unhealthy amount to the way things appear, rather than investing things of real value.
People don’t see the massive amounts of wedding debt people go through after having extravagant weddings, or what happens before and after Instagram pictures are put up. They don’t see the fights you and your family go through, or the un-dealt things of your heart. People don’t remember what you wore five Sundays ago, and they won’t remember that pimple on your face today. So why do we invest so much of our time, energy, thoughts, and money on keeping up an appearance of things?
The greatest business investment is to sow into the eternal. Yes, it is humbling, but it is guaranteed to be satisfying. I have seen very few people who understand this concept of sowing into the eternal, but those who do have benefited from its rewards. We must have a long term vision for what God wants for us. What are you investing in that will benefit eternity? Or are you leasing because you are afraid of the repercussions of buying?