Backseat Driving on the Spiritual Highway

Frazzled and frustrated, I try to see the street sign through the blinding sun. Could that finally be the street I have been desperately looking for? As I squint to see the words on the sign, I realize that sadly it is not. I have to face the music and just admit that I am lost. Just as I feel the need to pull over and scream I hear laughter. My kids are in the backseat laughing and playing. They seem to be unaware that we are lost. How is that possible? I have expressed in no uncertain terms that I cannot find my way. If the words were unclear, the expression on my face, my hand hitting the steering wheel every few minutes and my foot constantly hitting the break making the car move in a jerky fashion would be clues enough. As if laughing were not enough, my son points out some type of monument by a park on the other side of the road. This is no time for sightseeing! How can they remain so calm?

Enough was enough! I whip my head around and decide to face these giggle boxes head on. I ask them if they are aware that we have been lost for the past half hour. With confident smiles, they inform me that they are fully aware of the situation. If they are aware that we are lost then how can they remain so calm? The answer was simple. They trusted me to guide them home. My daughter told me that she did not know where we were or when we would get home but she knew we would since I was driving. My son was in agreement. My 4 year old was simply along for the ride and happy as long as she had something to drink. At that moment my frustrating situation became a pleasant adventure. I quietly prayed and we soon found our way back safe and sound.

That event made me think about the confidence and trust our children have in us as parents. My children confidently sat in my car while I was aimlessly driving around only because of the trust they have in me. Do I place that same confidence in the Lord? After all, God is in the driver’s seat in my life. Do I spend my time backseat driving or do I enjoy the adventure because no matter what may come He will guide me safely through?

I am reminded the verse:

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage: be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD they God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. – Joshua 1:9

My children were not dismayed because imperfect me was in the driver’s seat. Well, I have a perfect Father in heaven how can I be dismayed when the road seems bumpy? I need to put my faith in the Lord in all situations and circumstances. Being strong and of good courage is not solely for the good times. It is in the bad times that our good courage glorifies the Lord. My children taught me an important lesson that day. They taught me how to view my Heavenly Father and rejoice in any situation. If you look closely at your children you will see how we can become better sons and daughters of our heavenly Father.

Copyright © Richele McFarlin, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved


  1. Siobhan McGirr on March 22, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    I can completely relate to this post! When I think about all of my childhood vacations, almost all of them include getting lost in the car. One time, my mother got out of the car and refused to get back in until my father asked for better directions from the cashier at the gas station. My sister and I, of course, thought the situation was hilarious, and tried to hide our laughter when my dad said he knew exactly where he was going. Now, however, I don’t find being lost quite as amusing. When I go somewhere, I look up directions on the Internet, and program the address into my GPS unit for extra backup. Is it so surprising that I have tried to map out the route of my life as well? Fortunately, God has taught me some lessons with unexpected twists and turns, and I have yielded Him control of my drier’s seat. If I get an itch to take over, I simply listen to “Jesus Take the Wheel,” by Carrie Underwood, and I’m grateful to be in the passenger seat once more.

  2. Lavinia on March 23, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Great entry, and so right on. It’s awesome how God uses our children and our roles as parents to reveal to us the simple truths about our relationship with Him.

    I agree with the last comment about the time and effort that we put into planning out our lives. But Proverbs 16:9 tells us, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” We get so frustrated and impatient within a short time of “waiting” on God to direct us that we often take the wheel ourselves. And it’s not until we’ve been going in circles, getting even more frustrated, and after wasting more time, effort, money, etc. that we realize that we should have just let God do what He does in His time. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that we have every reason so allow our Father to navigate us in our lives:
    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the
    LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
    plans to give you hope and a future.

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