Jesus Took the Wheel
Note: The following story may or may not contain real names and photos in order to protect the not so innocent.
It was a moment of desperation. The GPS estimate clocked 45 minutes beyond the start of the wedding at our destination, the Basilica at Notre Dame. We had left extra early for a leisurely drive north, but something had gone terribly wrong. After traveling this route many times, I was overconfident and didn’t check the directions, resulting in my taking the wrong road and putting our attendance in jeopardy. I began to pray and asked Jesus to take the wheel. And thankfully, He did.
Actually it was my son Nate, although his overabundance of facial hair creates an uncanny resemblance to the Big Guy. For years Nate had unsuccessfully pleaded with me to get behind the wheel of my untested fast car, but this time I relented knowing that his Boston-honed driving skills were far superior to my own. The deal was sealed by Abbie, a friend on the speaker phone who asked an obvious but extremely important question: “Is Nate still on your auto insurance policy?” He was not. So what did I have to lose other than my life at the hands of an ecstatic, testosterone-charged young male with the pedal to the metal? I put out the challenge, “I want to be seated in the pew when the music starts.” Challenge accepted. As we pulled to the shoulder, not a minute was wasted as we switched seats. I buckled in for the ride of my life and began to pray.
As we sailed down country roads it occurred to me that, in moments of desperation like these, I often put out the 911 call to God. When I need a rescue, urgent prayers go up seeking help, healing, or protection. Sometimes my petitions are the result of a wrong turn; others are life’s trials or tragedies. But what about when things are going smoothly? What about those incredible mountaintop moments?
Actually when life is going well, I like to be in the driver’s seat and feel I can handle things pretty well on my own, thank you very much. I want to be in control. No divine assistance is needed nor wanted. That is, of course, until a trial arrives, which it inevitably does. I wonder what would happen if I asked Jesus to take the wheel all the time? What if I didn’t wait until the crisis? Would it possibly be averted? Could there be a better way?
The Bible says there is. In fact back in Jesus’ day, when most transportation was by foot, Jesus called people to walk with Him on the journey, not only in difficult times but every step of the way. With two simple words, “Follow Me,” He invited all of us to stay near and to build an intimate relationship with Him. From the beginning we were meant to be together on the journey, not only in times of crisis, but all the time — to be in the passenger seat with Jesus at the wheel.
As it turned out on that crazy wedding trip to Notre Dame, we did indeed arrive safely and ticket-free. The challenge was met — our bottoms hit the pew just as the procession started. We miraculously arrived in time despite my high heels, which made it difficult to run during a few more directional challenges. (By the way, the Golden Dome is not the Basilica!) All in all, it was a glorious day in celebration of a beautiful couple — Dougie and Olivia.
And when we headed home the next day, I was filled with peace and praised Him every mile of the way. This time I, along with Jesus, took the wheel!