So I'm sitting in the parking lot of a Wendy’s restaurant in Snellville, GA one morning, waiting on my lunch appointment (hey, when you work on an indie level, you have to pick some slightly less-than-upscale beaneries to “do lunch”) and while I'm sitting there I notice a pickup truck parked just across the way, with one of those boldly worded "God: Co-Pilot" vanity plates on the front bumper. And I had to grin, because the front of this truck was smashed in seven ways to Sunday, indicating that while God may have been the co-pilot, the "pilot" of this particular vehicle had still managed to hit something. Hard. I mean, whatever he collided with refused to give an inch.
Now I've never been a fan of the "God: Co-Pilot" plates, because in my own humble but accurate opinion, it relegates God to a secondary, and dare I say subservient, position in our lives. But this gem drove the point home with all the subtlety of a 2x4 upside the head. Too many of us, and all too often, acknowledge God in our lives, and yet we go right on about our business, keeping Him effectively confined to the subordinate position. And I don't know about you, but when things go awry in my life, it's usually when I have my hand on the controls. And I don’t know about you, but on my best days, my time at those controls results in a course that’s about as straight and true as the guy who flew his plane headfirst into a 747 in Airport 1975 (even Charlton Heston had a hard time landing that thing afterwards, and this is the same guy that parted the Red Sea just a few years earlier!).
And even if it is a good quality moment where I allow God to take the wheel, the minute the ride gets rough, my gut instinct is to grab the controls back and try to get out of the turbulence myself. The end result is usually a crash landing on a truly spectacular scale. And guess what? Life doesn't give an inch either.
Which of course begs the question, why do we do it? God's been around since before the beginning, He knows where we're going, how best to get us there, and how to guide us through any difficulties, obstacles, or issues that may arise. Nobody knows the course better than Him, nobody can handle the controls more efficiently than Him, and no one is more qualified to guide us through this journey than Him. True, the pathway may get rough, the skies grow dark, and the thunder can be downright terrifying, but why would any of us wish to ride the storm out when all we have to do is call on the One who tells the storm to be still? For any of us to assume we can navigate this treacherous passage better than the One who created it is beyond arrogant. And lest anyone think I'm being harsh, well, I am. But I'm throwing rocks at myself when I say it.
The old “Star Trek” TV show had the catchphrase, "To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before", and while some take issue with the grammar, I still think it's a great tag line, and should be the tag line for every Christian. God is calling us to new frontiers in our lives, and I submit that our best bet is to let him take the controls. I don't even want to be the co-pilot, because that assumes I know even a smidgen of what He does. So let go of the controls. Trust the Pilot. He'll get you there. And the ride will be oh so much more enjoyable!
Am I telling you to take the tag off the front of your car? Yeah, I guess I am. Am I telling you to re-place it with a tag that reads “God: Pilot”? Nope, because I think those are tacky as well.
Because if God is truly at the controls, people won’t be able to help but notice how straight and true of a course you are charting through this journey we call life. And they’re going to want to know how you’re doing it. That’s when you give all the credit to the Pilot. Let His skill and handiwork speak for itself, and others will see that He can do the same for them, if they will only put Him at the controls.
Indeed, may we come and see the things the Lord can do, and may the world see Him in us today….
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea.” - Psalm 46:1-2
“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.” – Psalm 37: 7
“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10