Take The Wheel – The Cliché Series – Part 6
God is in control.
Jesus, take the wheel!
Is God in the driver's seat?
OK, first, how do you even PUT God in the driver's seat of your life? Is your life a car? With an engine and wheels and seats and crumbs lodged in the seat belt spaces and a coffee stain on the passenger seat because the barista didn’t put the lid on your coffee tight enough about two years ago and the milk smell has only just started to fade?
How do you give God control of your life, and is that really what he is asking of you?
We love the idea of control; either that we have it or that someone who knows what they're doing has it. It gives us a sense of security. AND (things are about to get awkward), giving control of our lives over to someone else is a way of relinquishing personal responsibility. If God is in control, we don’t have to ‘own’ anything.
Time and again, as a Pastor's kid, a Christian and then a Pastor myself, I’ve heard people say “don’t worry about it, God is in control” as a way to pacify fear, doubt, and responsibility. I’ve done it myself. For years and I've lived in waiting for God’s lotto ball of blessing and purpose to fall into my life. I was doing all the things: tithing, do-gooding, worshiping, church attending, praying, declaring, believing… and yet, it seemed that God wasn’t in control of my life the way I wanted him to be.
I asked him what decisions to make, what way to turn, what to say and what to do… I asked him who I should vote for (I'm an Aussie FYI), how should I treat people, what treatment I should seek for myself… I begged him to tell my if I should wait for an apology? Or reach out despite not getting one? Or if I should apologize even I didn’t think I had done anything wrong? Should I stay, should I go, do I ignore, do I fight, do I accept?
If God is in control, he’d have answers for me and wouldn’t delay in relaying them, right? Or just getting to work on them, already!
But more often than not, I receive one of two responses from the Divine, more felt than heard:
1) What do you think?
It would seem that in his omnipotent control, God gives us plenty of wriggle room.
Things happen that are out of our control: Presidents and laws, wars and violence, death and disease, success and failure, hurricanes and droughts. Some things just happen, and there isn’t a thing we can do about them.
Does God control the “happenings” of earth? Is he in control of Syria? Africa? The Indonesian Rain Forests? Is he in control of cancer research and child abuse recovery?
And if he IS in control of these things and more, what does the current state of the world say about God’s character?
Surrender takes a huge amount of control, of personal responsibility. It’s not ignoring or glossing over or being naive. Surrender is a way to hold the tension between what you can do and what you can’t do. It’s to ask God the question, ‘What next?” And rather than waiting for an answer to drop out of the sky, live into the answer with our hands and feet and hearts. To let go and let God is to live in that liminal space of not-knowing but choosing to engage anyway.
God has absolute control of redemption, love, grace, hope and joy. God’s rule is extended upon the earth through the same means by which it was inaugurated – self-giving, sacrificial love. The gift of life given generously in vulnerability: the incarnation and crucifixion are both pictures and testaments to the way God puts himself into us, for us.
His dominion and sovereignty are of love and grace, which in Christ knows no bounds.
So in that case, Jesus, take the wheel!
And I guess that means, that he wants us to, too.