Dr. Janet Dean – “Backseat Driver”
“Lord, I know that people's lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.” - Jeremiah 10:23
The time had come. I handed the car keys over to my sixteen-year-old son, and willed myself to say, “Take me for a drive.” In those early days, sitting beside him as he drove the car brought fear, anxiety, exhilaration, pride, and amazement. Unfortunately for him, my anxiety – and my need for control – won out, and what started as teaching soon became obnoxious “backseat driving.” How could he really know what to do? He eventually challenged me, “Mom, can you please let me try to do this on my own? You don’t need to tell me what to do every single moment.”
I heard my son in that moment, and then later I heard God. I had surrendered my life to God many years ago, letting him drive and take the lead in my life, after realizing that my ability to do so fell short, very short. Even so, I had never shut up. I was not driving anymore, but surely I had been telling God both how to drive and where to go. I had trusted Him to drive as long as He followed my instructions, but He wants me to trust Him - period. No directions needed.
With lips sealed, I’m finding that my son is turning out to be a pretty decent driver, and God has had everything under much better control than I could fathom, with a fantastic journey planned long before I even let Him in the car.
- Dr. Janet Dean, Assistant Professor, Behavioral Sciences