Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
Sitting on the back of my husband, Andy’s motorcycle as he drives through the countryside on a beautiful day is one of my all-time favorite activities. It’s almost as good as riding in the back of an old farm truck, except that I can’t be eating something just-picked and juicy on the ride because the motorcycle helmet gets in the way.
My husband has the job of paying attention to the road and weather conditions as he’s simultaneously driving and bird-watching. I have the job of paying attention to not falling off the motorcycle while watching the trees, sky, wildflowers, and livestock. In other words, I’m just along for the ride.
I don’t have to worry with directions, traffic (not that there is much more than the occasional combine or oversized sprayer rig), speed, engine maintenance, time, or gas levels. Instead, I have the pure joy of reveling in the wind, landscape, and husband made glorious by freedom from cellphones, computers, and chores staring me in the face.
So last week while on such a ride in the country with Andy, I had this question which has haunted me ever since – “shouldn’t my life with Christ be like this motorcycle ride?”
(And before you think that more than my hair got tangled by the wind last week, please bear with me while I unpack this thought a bit.)
If I am living in full obedience as a Christ-follower, then I am tucked close in behind Him just along for the ride. He decides the directions, the roads, the speed, the destination, the landscapes, and the length of the ride. He is the One Who is in control with a plan, a vision, and a purpose for good (see Jeremiah 29:11). And when I am in the back paying attention to the beauty Christ has placed all along the days, I revel in the pure joy of discovering fresh courage, hope, and friends made glorious by freedom from comparison, conviction, and consequences staring me in the face. My job is just to hang on and delight in the now without worrying about what’s around the bend or the scarf that blew off my neck a few miles back.
Andy delights in driving by streams and ponds because the both of us enjoy the beauty of the water. Similarly, I think Christ delights to place answered prayers in my life so that both of us can enjoy the beauty of His power at work.
Andy listens to when I need to stop and rest. I don’t have to scream, just touch his shoulders as he knows what that means. Similarly, Christ listens to when I need rest and care. I don’t have to scream; He feels the tears, the unspoken deep of my heart and what that means, even when I don’t understand it myself.
Andy always brings me home at the end of the ride. I don’t always know how we got there, much less how to get back to where we went. Similarly, Christ will bring me home at the end of the ride. I don’t know the what, when, where, or how of the ride He has planned for my life. And I don’t have to – that’s not my job. My job is to trust, enjoy the view, hold on, and pay attention to not falling off, especially when the road is curvy or bumpy.
Christ is faithful. Christ is here. Christ will bring me home.
Isaiah 58:14. then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Written by and copyrighted to Beth Madison, Ph.D., 2021