All parents know that the struggle is real when your child is cranky in the car seat - especially when they are too young and small to face forward. This past Sunday I took June with me to run some errands, giving Brooke some alone time at home.
First, we went to visit my brother and get a few things at his place of work, then we were off to do some Christmas shopping for Brooke, and then a quick stop at Starbucks before heading home. Like most things this time of year, everything took a little longer than I had hoped it would, especially the Starbucks drive thru. I knew that I was pushing the limit on the amount of time June could spend in the car. Her nap was fast approaching and we were still waiting for our coffee in the drive thru lane... and she started to fuss. Normally when Brooke and I are both in the car the passenger can talk to her and she'll turn slightly in her seat and be able to see the passenger with one eye. It's so cute. But I was riding solo and I couldn't see her, and she couldn't see me.
After I got the coffees, we started driving home and June was not enjoying the ride. She was crying and whimpering, so I was trying to sing to her, say her name, clap my hands, pass back any toys to her that I could reach. I totally get why she was upset. She is in the back of the car and she doesn't know where we are, or where we are going, and she can't even see the direction we are headed! I kept telling her, "Don't worry June, we are on our way home, we will be there soon."
That's when it hit me.
My beautiful daughter was teaching me a new lesson. She is really good at that.
I started to think about how often I am frustrated with God because I have no idea what He is doing or where He is going. I am June, facing the wrong way, unaware of what is around me. All my toys have fallen on the floor, which only entertained me for so long, and I feel I've been in my seat for way too long. I am frustrated. I start crying out for help because I am confused and lost and it would seem that I am totally alone.
Meanwhile my heavenly father is in the front seat telling me, "Don't worry T.J. I am driving, I got this, I got you, I love you. You'll be okay."
Life is a confusing road that has its ups and downs, it's dead ends, it's u-turns, and its wrong ways. So often I think I know exactly where I am going, so I start to drive and end up frustrated at the dead ends or with a smashed up car on the side of the road.
Other times I simply take the advice of Carrie Underwood and say "JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL!!!!!!", but usually end up sitting in the back seat, facing the wrong way, complaining the entire time. I want the credit for trusting God but I don't actually want to follow through. I act like an infant unaware of where we are going and who is driving; however, I am an adult, and I need to have an adult relationship with Jesus. I need to stop being cranky in a carseat and sit up front. At least if I am in the front seat I can lean into the driver for comfort instead of screaming in the back seat because I am lost and confused.
God, through Jesus, wants to take you places you never dreamed of. Maybe He is on His way there but He wants you to jump in the front seat to help navigate. Maybe He wants you to see all the mile markers along the way so you can have some idea of where you are going. I don't know. But, I do know that the ride of your life will always be more enjoyed in the front seat hand in hand with the driver, instead of in the back facing the wrong way.
If you haven't even given up the wheel, what are you waiting for? How many accidents and dead ends do you have to run into before you do? And like I said before, listen to the wise Carrie Underwood - let Him take the wheel and when He does, sit in the freaking front seat and enjoy the ride, regardless of where it takes you.