Long before the days of mandatory seat belts and car seats, some road trips we’d take Dad used to sit one of us kids on his lap and let us “drive”. Once we were out of the city and onto the highway we’d clamor to see whose turn it was to “drive”. The lucky child would then climb over seat of the ’68 Malibu, into the front and slide behind the wheel onto Dad’s lap and grab hold of the steering wheel.
Of course unbeknownst to us, Dad was controlling the wheel with his left hand. This explains why any time we would begin to turn our gaze downward he would urgently exclaim “Keep your eyes on the road!” Having been reminded of how critical it was to focus on the demanding task of driving our eyes would snap back up to where we were heading.
I’m not advocating this practice but I have to admit I did the same thing with our boys. Before anyone sends me scolding messages it was only on carefully chosen, rarely travelled back roads of Saskatchewan.
When I allowed my firstborn to “drive” he was always very cautious and responsible, taking his duty very seriously. Not so much with the middle child. With a glint in his eye he’d suddenly try to swerve and take us into the ditch just because it looked like fun. I had to be ready at any second to grab tightly on to the wheel to straighten us out and keep us from having to walk home.
There is in this a very limited and partial picture of God’s sovereignty in our lives, but it may not be what you think. The obvious parallel is that we are “driving” our lives, but that God is truly the one in charge of where we are going. But if you read into this that since he’s in control he will keep you from hitting the ditch, as it were, and your life will work out as you think it should you are missing what’s really important.
The more profound picture is that you and I are not really in control of where we’re going, but we’re sitting on our Father’s lap. Even when the road gets rough and we can’t imagine how we can bear any more . . . You’re sitting in your Father’s lap. Forgive me for the paraphrase, but even when I drive through the valley of death itself I’m sitting in my Father’s lap.