Pastor's Blog
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September 25, 2015, 12:00 AM

Back Surgery Chronicles: Passenger's Perspective

So who, primarily, does the driving in your family? In our family, I am the primary driver. Except, that is, for the last two weeks or so. Because of the pain medication I’ve been on while recovering from back surgery, I’ve not been permitted to drive. That has relegated me to the passenger’s seat while Betsy does the driving. 

The passenger seat is not a place I am very familiar with. I am used to controlling the speed and the direction and the route taken for where ever we happen to be going. In the passenger’s seat, that control is gone. I must sit and trust the one who is driving to get me where I need to go. And I’ve discovered that what one sees while on a particular journey is quite different in the passengers seat. We were traveling down Pone Lane several days ago and from the passenger’s  seat I saw houses along the road that I didn’t even know were there, and I’ve lived here in Franklin and traveled that road for nine years now! When one is driving, one is looking at different things – road signs and traffic and berms and pedestrians and the next turn and… - there just isn’t time or space to look beyond those things if one is trying to drive safely. I have realized that driving does give a person a greater sense of control over where they’re going, but it also limits their ability to fully appreciate and experience the journey.

A preacher I know would underline that last sentence and say, “That’ll preach.” When you and I are in the drivers seat of our lives – relying  on our own resources to negotiate life – we may feel like we have more control over what to do with what life hands us. “I know me,” we say to ourselves. “I know my tendencies. I know what I can and can’t do. I know what I like and what I don’t like, what I believe and don’t believe. I know I’m right about these things, and uncertain about those things.” (Notice I didn’t say “wrong” about those things… 😉)  Given what we know about us, we restrict our interaction with the circumstances of life to what we know we can figure out for ourselves – kind of like the narrow view one is forced to take when driving. We worry about avoiding accidents and getting the turns right and stopping when we’re supposed to and controlling our speed and…life becomes all about management, with very little room for awe and wonder and “Wow!” moments. 

But when we surrender the drivers seat of our lives to the real and active presence of God – when we allow God to determine destination and route taken and speed, trusting Him to get us where we need to go – there is freedom from managing life, and freedom for watching God at work in the circumstances that life hands us. From the passengers seat, we have more time and space to see the wonder of life – more room to observe what’s unfolding around us – more chances to experience “Wow!” moments – because we have trusted the driving to the One who knows us far better than we will ever know ourselves. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” Proverbs 3 says, “and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.” (vs. 5-6) From the driver’s seat we interact with life with the question, “what am I gonna do now?” From the passenger’s seat we interact with life and ask “wonder what God’s gonna do with this?” 

As I type these words my permission to drive has been restored.  But time spent in the passengers seat these past few weeks makes me think I’ll be handing over the keys a bit more often in the weeks to come……….

 As always…

Keep Lookin’ Up!

Pastor D.



09-25-2015 at 3:45 PM
Mikki Chmiel
So happy you are still shepherding us through these blogs. Tho shorter than your sermons and not as animated they still give us great things to think about. Prayers for patience and healing in these next few weeks. Just remember there is no brake on the passenger side either.
09-25-2015 at 2:58 PM
Dick Shaner
Looking forward to you next chapter in Back Surgery Chronicles. Catchy Title you gave it! God bless your quick recovery.
09-25-2015 at 12:25 PM
Pat Mann
I'm not a country western music fan; but, do you remember the song about: "Jesus take the wheel?" Country or not, makes sense, doesn't it? Glad you're making wonderful progress. Faithful prayers continue on your behalf.
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