Road Trips and Control Issues

There’s something you should probably know about me. You may have already figured it out if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time. I have a teeny weeny issue of liking to be in control. Just a wee bit. Well…okay…maybe a lot. I like to be in control a lot.

Now if it’s something I have no knowledge of – like building things or using power tools – I have no problem relinquishing control. I don’t feel the need to give my input. I trust your judgment. I can easily defer to your vast wisdom.

But if it’s something I have knowledge about, it’s a completely different story. Take driving, for example….

We just got back from a road trip to the beach in North Carolina. A 12-hour road trip. Lots of family bonding time in the car.

The first few hours of the trip home were very peaceful. I was catching up on being almost a month behind in my daily Bible reading, and Mikel was driving. I was completely oblivious to everything going on around us with my nose buried in the Bible. But I got all caught up just as we were about to hit some big-city traffic.

Then I felt the need to give my input. A lot. 🙂 (Let me preface this all by saying – my husband is a very good driver. He may drive differently than I do, but he’s a very safe driver and not worthy of my control-freakishness.)

I had a lot of input to give because I have a lot of experience driving…29 years’ worth of knowledge…and I like my way. My slow, safe, less aggressive and more cautious way. It’s a good way. It’s kept me safe all these years, and I was just so sure I saw things he didn’t see.

Especially driving through DC. Yikes! I was so glad he was driving and not me, but trust me when I tell you there were a lot of loud gasps and “oh my’s” and a lot of me dramatically grabbing the door handle and more loud “oh my, oh my, OH MY’s” as I slammed on the imaginary passenger-side brake pedal. (I really wish they would make one of those!)

Every time I would react (or should I say overreact – feeling out of control will do that to you) to something, we had this conversation:

Me: You’re stressing me out with the way you’re driving – scaring me actually.

Mikel: Your drama is stressing me out. Can you please stop?

Me: I can’t help it. It’s an automatic reaction.

Mikel: I’ve got this. Just relax.

Me: I’m working on it. (Another loud gasp with me dramatically stomping on the nonexistent passenger-side brake pedal.) It’s not that I don’t trust you. You’re an excellent driver. It’s everyone else I don’t trust. I feel so out of control!

Mikel: It was a lot less stressful for both of us when you were reading. Why don’t you do that again?

Duh! That was so true. It was so much better when I was oblivious to the other traffic and just trusted my husband’s judgment.

Mikel was doing a fine job driving and keeping us safe. And there was nothing I could do anyway. I wasn’t in control. So I got the Bible out again and started reading.

And there was sweet, sweet peace for everyone.

We can tend to do the same thing in life with God when things are taking longer than we think they should or aren’t going the way “we would do it.” We just get frustrated and have that same conversation with Him:

God, You’re really stressing me out down here! Where are you? What’s taking so long?

(Grabs door handle and slams on imaginary passenger-side brake.)

If I were You, I’d do it this way…..Why are You doing it that way? Can’t you see…?

What we really need to do is relax. We need to lean not to our own understanding and trust Him.

We need to fix our eyes on Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.

We aren’t in control. And rest will come and be quickly followed by peace if we let go of the need to control, especially when things aren’t going the way we think they should, and just bury our nose in The Book and let Him do His thing.

I was in much more peace (and so was Mikel) in that crazy traffic when I was focused on the Word instead of what was going on all around me. And I am in much more peace when I focus on Him instead of whatever storm is trying to wreak havoc in my life.

We get to choose whether we focus on the problem or focus on Him and His promises and faithfulness and power. There’s so much more peace when we look away from all that would distract and just focus on Him. He knows what He’s doing. We can trust Him.

Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection] (Hebrews 12:2 AMP)

2 comments on “Road Trips and Control IssuesAdd yours →

  1. Exactly!!! I think you were describing ME, Toni, except after 59 yrs, I keep comments to myself and try closing my eyes.. A LOT. I think we are called to PRAY wisdom, safety, and protection over our spouses as they drive. HOLY SPIRIT, COME, and help me to keep my mouth CLOSED, Amen. ??????

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