Time for a Change

Maybe it was SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder… the “no sunshine” disease). Maybe it was a bad case of spring fever. Maybe it was an “I’m fast approaching 60” thing. Maybe it was God trying to pry me loose from my ruts. Regardless of the cause, I recently found myself feeling quite restless.

There were so many things I knew I should do, needed to do, wanted to do… but it seemed like they all got sent to the back of the line, behind the things I had to do… immediately! I believe it’s called the tyranny of the urgent. I REALLY don’t like that tyrant!

But then I glanced at the Scripture plaque on my bookshelf… “Choose you this day whom you will serve.” Wait a minute! You mean I’ve CHOSEN to be ruled by the urgent? Surely not…. but… then again, maybe that’s exactly what I’ve done. I’ve allowed my schedule to be controlled by crises, dominated by deadlines. I’ve allowed them to set the course for my days and I’ve chosen to run their wild route.

The rest of the verse goes on… “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” It occurred to me that there’s no Biblical account of Jesus leaving agenda choices up to his disciples. He never said, “So guys… what’s on the program for today? What’s on your ‘to do’ list? I’m along for the ride… just tell Me what you have in mind.”

On the contrary, Jesus seemed firmly settled in the disciples’ driver’s seat. He made the plans. He managed the timetables. He was the Leader and they simply followed.

I remembered a chorus I learned at a Christian camp when I was just a child…

My Lord knows the way through the wilderness. All I have to do is follow.

My Lord knows the way through the wilderness. All I have to do is follow.

Strength for today is mine all the way. And all that I need for tomorrow.

My Lord knows the way through the wilderness. All I have to do is follow.

I asked myself, “Is it possible the change I’ve craved is simply a move from the driver’s seat to the passenger seat?”

There’s an old book, a Christian classic really… The Holy Spirit, Who He Is and What He Does, by R.A. Torrey, a great evangelist in the early 1900s. I took it off the shelf, blew the dust away and read it. I admit it brought me to tears more than once as I realized how half-hearted most of us 21st century believers really are about being totally surrendered to God. If our days were automobiles, He’s become for many, a silent back-seat passenger. We’re glad to have Him along for our ride through life… He comes in handy when we run into problems and once in awhile when we have a few minutes, we might even enjoy a brief conversation with Him. But most of the time, we race through our days, firmly gripping the steering wheel, starting and stopping, racing and braking as we please and barely glancing at the Guest in the back.

So… I pulled over, stopped the frantically-speeding vehicle of my life and simply re-gave the front seat back to the Holy Spirit. Ahhh… that was the change I really wanted and needed! My restlessness wasn’t seasonal, hormonal of even emotional… it was spiritual… a simple longing for Him to be back in control.

I know myself well enough to recognize that the dreaded tyrant of the urgent might entice me back into the driver’s seat again. And if that happens, I’ll need to relinquish control once again. But for now, I’ll savor the view from the passenger side!

“So, Lord what ’s on Your agenda for us today?

Where are You taking us?

I’m eager to go, so long as You drive!

And somehow I believe it will be an incredible ride!”