Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Power Steering

Today has been...challenging. I want to say "bad," but I'm trying to work on that whole negative attitude thing.

Last night at Bible study, I asked my sisters to keep me accountable for my quiet time. I've been on auto-pilot for awhile and the effects of that are invading other areas of my life and affecting other people. As the alarm went off this morning, I (too) easily decided to turn it off and roll over to my pillow instead of getting up to pray and read my Bible as planned. Then I heard a crash from somewhere in the house. I jumped out of bed, thinking one of the girls had fallen out of bed or down the stairs. Fortunately, it was just the mirror over our bathroom sink that had fallen somehow. I got the message clearly though. "Okay, Lord, I'm coming. Let's talk this morning."

And, if you've ever found yourself in the dangerous position of coasting spiritually, you know the thoughts that come and go in your mind: I'm okay. I'm going to church and Bible study. I'm listening to praise music in the car. I'm praying with the kids at night. God understands that I'm a busy mom and I don't really have the energy to get up early in the morning. Those are dangerous thoughts because they put you in a defensive position, trying to justify your inactivity. It's far better to be on the offense--eagerly pressing into the Lord and all He has for you.

Anyway, I got my day started in the Word and prayer, though it wasn't a particularly energetic or motivated heart that was participating. Still, I had faith that God would meet me where I was and change me. Emma and Ruthie had piano lessons this morning, so after dropping them off, the younger two and I did the dreaded monthly trip to Wal-Mart and headed back to pick up the big girls. Halfway there, I heard a thump and then lost the power steering. Then the temperature light came on and the dash started flashing all sorts of warning lights and dinging at me. I pulled onto the berm to be safe and turned the van off so it wouldn't overheat. I knew we needed to get home, but I had to pick the girls up first. Olivia and I prayed that we would make it to the piano lesson teacher's house and our home safely. And we did. I have the sore biceps to prove it! Have you ever driven a car without power steering? It could be an Olympic event, I tell you. It was scary not knowing if I had enough strength to turn corners safely. Or, to think that if I had to swerve to avoid another car, I probably wouldn't be able to do it.

And once we were home and I had time to think about it, I realized that coasting spiritually is a lot like trying to drive without power steering. You can still drive the car, but it's hard. Really, really hard. And, if you drive your car very long without power steering, the battery doesn't receive a charge and your car will eventually die. Same thing with God. If you spend too much time trying to accomplish your own will and way, eventually you won't be in touch with the Ultimate Power Source. Too many days I've tried to steer my own ship, plot my own course, use the wisdom and mind God has given to me for my own selfish desires, instead of looking to Him and letting His power flow through me and navigate me safely through the day. It's a tough lesson, but one I'm thankful to learn and hopeful that it won't need repeating!

Thanks, Lord...for waking me up this morning. For Your Word. For safety on the road. For reminding me to let You guide and lead me. And for giving Charlie the wisdom to know how to easily repair the van for us. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Bethany said...

Great post. Mostly because I struggle with the same thing, quiet times. I thought coming to school out here would make it easier, but no, it's harder!
I wish God would do with me what He did with you, making you get up! That's the hardest part. I even put the title of my alarm on my phone "Seek the LORD" hoping it would convict me when I hit snooze. ha. But it doesn't!
Anyway, thanks for this! It really is vital...spending time with Jesus.

Charity Grace said...

I hope today is better!

I have been getting up earlier too. Not only do I get my time with Jesus, but the whole day goes better.

That said, I overslept this morning. Early to bed tonight for an early morning tomorrow! :)

Jess said...

Wow awesome post! I've been praying for you! Isn't it funny how God gets our attention! I hope the next few mornings have been going better for you, and the van is better!

BTW, I have driven a car with no power steering! Our Saturn we had before the van! The crank shaft was broken, but still worked for about 2 weeks until we had the money for the repair, PTL! We were still in Fishers, so I had to take David to work, which was around the corner from our house, then drive it from Fishers to Carmel to my job (3 mi.) in TRAFFIC, while I was 7 mo. pregnant with Daniel! It was CHALLENGING!!! My arms sure did get a work out, and my back!

Mrs. Pear said...

Thank you! This is exactly what I needed to hear today!

Ann said...

Great analogy. I know by my own power, I'm much more likely to crash...or end up somewhere I don't belong.

But next time something happens, CALL US! We have car seats and would be more than willing to help...