My husband is somewhat obsessed with cruise control. He uses it whenever he can, from the 20-minute trip home from work to the 2-hour trip up north to visit our families. If there’s a stretch of road long enough to use it, he will. Sometimes he’ll even turn it on in between signals on the roads in town.
It drives me crazy.
I detest cruise control. There is something completely unnerving to me about the idea that the car is DRIVING ITSELF. What if you need to stop suddenly? What if you relax too much and accidentally fall asleep and the car pummels into a tree? What if the cruise control takes over and you can’t ever stop?! No, I am not a fan. I prefer choosing my own speed and maintaining control of the gas and the brake, thank you very much. On the rare occasion that I convince myself that cruise control might possibly be a safe idea (read: all I can see in front of me is road and there are no cars around for miles), my right foot hovers an inch above the brake pedal. Just. In. Case.
Unfortunately, this is also my default for life. Keep your eyes on the road. Stay a safe distance behind the cars ahead of you. Protect yourself. Do not relinquish control. And I’m tired. So tired.
This fight to be in control all the time, it’s exhausting. And it’s deceptive. It disguises itself as preparedness, responsibility, wisdom. All good things. But so often the preparedness is really fear, the responsibility and wisdom really pride. My plan, my way, and nothing bad will happen.
Every day though, I’m learning more and more that it’s a pointless struggle. Sometimes, you can plan all you want and still get lost. Sometimes, you can drive responsibly and a truck still appears out of nowhere. Sometimes, things just don’t go your way, no matter how hard you try to make them cooperate.
We have to surrender. We have to let go. We have to realize we are never really in control anyways. Thankfully, we have a truly wise, loving God who is. A God who is able to do immeasurably more with our lives than we could ask or imagine. A God who has big plans for each of us. A God who can see beyond our windshield and all the way down the road.
See, this controlling nature of mine, it keeps my life small, manageable, easy. I can handle it. I can take care of myself and my family. I don’t need anyone else. And I think I’m happy, but I’m not. I want more. I’m made for more, and so are you. We are not called to live small, manageable lives. We are called to live lives of risk and faith and obedience, following the One who works everything together in His unending wisdom. The safest thing of all is to let go and trust Him.
While I’m not condoning unsafe driving in any way, I do think my husband has the right idea. (He usually does.) I could stand to use the cruise control a little more often. How about you? Let the car do what it was made to do. Relax and enjoy the ride. While it will probably still be bumpy (let’s just be honest), we can know with certainty that we put our trust in the only One who knows the road and guides us safely home.
Are you struggling to relinquish “control” of something today? How can I pray for you?
By Kayse Pratt, Finding Hope