Monday, March 21, 2016

Racing Wagon

"I feel like I am driving a wagon at full speed and it's about to take off and drag me behind", I told the ladies at my table during a luncheon.

Finally I had words to put to how I have been feeling about my life recently. My ministry, which I really love, is gaining speed. The requests are coming more frequently and the decisions harder. I could devote more time to the office, emails and appointments, but what about the carefully scheduled soul care time that I crave? The housework I do to keep life orderly? The projects I enjoy that energize me? The margin I need to deal with unexpected grief and unwelcome illness? And of course, the time and energy required to maintain and improve my key relationships?

My spiritual director asked me to draw the wagon as I saw it. Well, I am no artist, but my square box with me in the driver's seat revealed immediately that I have had it all wrong. Where exactly am I in this picture?

Am I in the driver's seat holding the reins? Been there done that. I choose to let go of the reins.
Am I along for the ride in the wagon? No, that is too passive. I need to play my part.
Am I being dragged behind holding on for dear life? No, it is not so frantic yet but I want to prevent this.
Am I up on the driver's seat next to the driver? Yes, that is it.

More importantly, where is God in my picture and who do I believe he is?

Is he standing on the seat wielding a whip shouting at me to drive faster?
Is he waving his finger, telling me how I'm not doing it right?
Is he sitting in the wagon, expecting me to figure it out all by myself?
Is he somewhere else, indifferent to my journey?

I know and realize that he is none of these things. Instead, God is the patient, kind driver of my life. With my good in mind, he is the controller of the starts and stops and the speed of the journey. But I want to be up on the seat with him holding the reins together. His hands over mine showing me how to drive, lovingly teaching me how to keep the horses and wagon under control. Tenderly telling me what pace to travel at, when to stop and rest, when to gallop, when to take on passengers (people I am caring for) and how many at a time. When to totally get off the wagon and take a real break. And never condemning when I grab the reins and take over out of fear or pride or guilt.

With God as my guide, we can together control the pace of this journey and I can relax and enjoy the ride without a spirit of frantic desperation.

Trust God from the bottom of  your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen to God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.
Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! (MSG)
This will bring healing to your body and refreshment to your inner self! (NET) Proverbs 3:5-8