The following is an excerpt from Daniel’s talk on “A Steering Wheel Don’t Mean You Can Drive” ( part of the ”Thrive” series) at a Friday Night Coffeehouse gathering.
Do you ever feel like this…
It’s a Sunday night. You have so much homework left to do, including a test that you have not even studied for yet. And you cannot do poorly on it or your parent is going to immediately know because the grades will be posted online. You just went from chill, to totally stressed out. You have no idea where to even start. So what do you do? You open Facebook. Avoid it!
You made the team. Which is awesome and you are super proud of yourself. But now you have practice every afternoon…and you are supposed to an extra cardio workout on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. You want to keep getting playing time, but you are starting to see your grades slip, you’re getting more agitated with people, and you accidentally forgot about a Saturday morning practice…so now your coach is upset too.
…you like to be in control. You like to have a plan for the day, to know what people are going to ask of you (so you can help determine the outcome), you basically like to see things go your way. But recently your parent has been pushing back on this. You keep hearing them say, “be flexible”…and that drives you crazy.
Do you relate to any of these stories?
We are in a series called Thrive. The Big Idea is that we want to thrive, not just survive. The song lyric I want us to briefly focus on tonight is “A steering wheel don’t me you can drive.”
What does this mean? I believe that God created each of us. Even more, I believe that God created us with a free will. If we each have a free will, this means that at all times, we get to make our own decisions.
So our free will could be represented by a steering wheel. By using our hands on a steering wheel, we chose where we want to go. We are in control. But, just because we have the steering wheel doesnt mean we can drive.
We often need to surrender control to let someone more experienced take over. We need to acknowledge that we cannot do everything, or control everything. We need other’s help.
I am not sure where you are at with your view of God. (You may be just trying to figure out if He’s real. Or you may believe He’s there, but keep Him at a distance. Or you may believe in Him, and trying to know more about Him). Wherever you are at, I believe that God cares deeply about you and knows that as hard as you try, your cannot do it on your own. We need help.
One time, when Jesus, who is God’s son, was spending time with people, he shared his opinion on worrying. He said…
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.
God cares about: birds…wildflowers…all of your needs!
But…we are often stressed out, overwhelmed, unhappy, and… (fill in the blank)
Why? We are trying to drive…and we shouldn’t be. We’re trying to do it all on our own!
Jesus says: Your Father knows your needs….He will take care of You!
STRATEGIES FOR THRIVING (NOT JUST SURVIVING)
- Chill out for a moment. (Ask God to drive again. Or maybe even say “God Im not sure if I trust that you are real..but can you show me today.”)
- Take an inventory of your week. What are you trying to pull off that is too much (and about you)? (Homework doesnt count)
- What are you trying to be in control of…that you shouldnt?
- Pray something like this…
God I want to be honest with you and say that I have been “trying to drive on my own.” I am sorry that I decided to not ask You for help. I admit that I have messed up and will continue to mess up. Therefore, I place my trust in you and in your son Jesus, who sacrificed His life for mine as the only way to be right with you God. Thank you for giving me this hope I am looking for. Help me to know you more. Amen. Giving up control