Monday, April 14, 2014

Where do you sit?

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." (Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT)

Front seat or back seat?

Every morning we have to make that decision about our son Jon Alex. His mom drives him across the town to our local high school and drops him off. Then in the afternoon she chauffer’s him back home from school.

Jon Alex loves riding in the car. Unfortunately, his motives for wanting to ride are sometimes not the best.

With his combination of autism and cerebral palsy, being strapped in the seat gives him his own playground for movement. He leans up as far as the safety belt allows, and then hurls him back into the seat.

Over and over and over he does this, and he does it repetitively as fast as it allows and he can.

Somehow his movement-starved body has turned our car into his own personal amusement park.

The stares you receive at traffic lights are priceless. Strangers peer into the car with their jaws open; sometimes other kids point.

When we are parked and he starts rocking, the entire vehicle just shakes. People pass by and I slump over in the seat wishing I owned a pair of Groucho-Mark glasses and nose.

He cannot help the stimming, it just comes as part of his autism.  Because he is so mobility impaired, I understand his craving and I take delight that he can rock like that in the car. It satisfies that craving to be able to control his own movement, and he has figured out it is safe as long as he is buckled in the seat.

He rocks so much he actually broke the seat in our minivan last year.

Ask any parent of a child with autism, we can usually tell by the morning routines, what the day may hold based upon the events that morning. In our house we call it having a “special needs moment.”

As a result, some mornings Jon Alex is far more hyper and wound up than others. He is vocally and physically stimming away constantly. We stand him up and he begins stomping his feet making it terribly difficult to walk him to the car.

That’s when we have to make the decision.

Front seat or back seat?

He is 16 and loves riding in the front seat with mom. But in the front seat there’s a greater chance of him hitting his head on the dashboard or window and even flailing so wildly it distracts my wife who is driving. He might even reach over towards the controls.

The back seat doesn’t have those issues and gives him more freedom of movement. So we have to choose each day where he rides.

Every morning you and I have to make a similar decision as it relates to God.

Will we be content to let God drive us where we are going that day and ride along quietly in the back seat? Will we let him choose the course and direction while allowing him to steer without our attempting to take the wheel? Will we trust that he knows how to drive the car without our help, and allow ourselves to sit back and enjoy the trip?

Or will we try to get God to let us sit in the front seat where we are tempted to try to take over the controls, determine the course, or suggest what path we would like Him to take?

What kind of passenger will you be today?

Trust is letting God plot the course, choose the path, and take the wheel. Trust is sitting in the back seat enjoying the fact that God is driving your life and you will ultimately reach your destination.

Being anxious, stressed, and fretting with worry about the day makes us want to sit up front where we can obsess over the view, criticize the driver, and question if he knows what he is doing.

Start your day in the back seat my friends, and enjoy the trip.

You have a chauffer. Let him drive.

PRAY:  "Father we trust in you to guide our lives. You have a plan and a purpose for everything, forgive us when we we trust in the things of this word more than we trust in You."

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