“Can you follow directions–can you really follow directions?”
It wasn’t so much a question, repetition and tone suggested gentle insistence. I hesitated before responding because I know something about myself–sometimes I think I’m smarter than the directions, or that my instinct is better or that the directions couldn’t really be right, could they? I’ll make a decision based on feelings or perception or, worse, arrogance (ouch).
“Y-e-e-e-s,” I faltered, my inner Honesty Police betraying a lack of conviction.
“If you will trust me, if you’ll do exactly what I tell you to do, you won’t have any problems.”
Darrell is an instructor with Land Rover Experience Driving School, and during a recent journalist/blogger tour of Biltmore Estate, I had opportunity to learn from a pro who knows a lot about off-road driving. Four-wheeling on muddy, rough, forested terrain hardly resembles my soccer mom taxi service.
Each of us took turns behind the wheel slipping and sliding and at times driving blind–sometimes unable to see path beneath our vehicle’s hood! We knew it was there because Darrell told us it was. He’d correct our mistakes, constantly encouraging and teaching us the right way to handle our beastly machine.
This was the moment Darrel had asked me the question. He got out of the vehicle, demonstrated a series of hand motions and reiterated,
“If you’ll trust me, if you’ll do exactly what I tell you to do,
you won’t have any problems.”
Darrell continued, “What feels right is going to be wrong. I can see things you can’t, and if you’ll just listen to me and follow my instructions, I’ll keep you on a path that’ll will take you up and over. Otherwise, you’ll be slipping and sliding….”
Hoping not to disappoint, I nodded and focused intently on him. I watched his hands and did exactly what they told me immediately when they changed each motion. I learned quickly what he said was true–it felt wrong! Had he not been standing there slowly, surely guiding my way, I would have steered differently! Had I followed my instincts and let my circumstances and what “felt right” dictate my actions…I might’ve been the first person in Land Rover Experience history to wreck a car.
Who wants that notoriety?
* * * * *
Later it occurred to me my Land Rover Driving Experience was a perfect parallel to a life of faith; intuitive (in)courage reader that you are, I’d bet you already made that observation :). There was someone who ~
- knew more than I did
- wanted to guide me, but I would need to listen and respond
- allowed me the freedom to make choices
- cared about my success
And…there were potentially painful consequences if I didn’t trust Darrell’s instruction enough to obey him; not because he wanted to be the boss of me, but because he wanted what was best for me and could see the bigger picture beyond my limited view!
I’m in a season of faith-struggle (do I dare admit that??). Though I can mentally ascend to God’s omni-presence through His Spirit’s indwelling, He doesn’t feel very present (oh, how I hate feelings and their deception!). That God loves me so much He gifts me with a visible, real life picture of what the blessings of obedience to and trust in Him look like–especially when it seems so undeserving–reminds me that He intimately knows me, cares infinitely about me, and that His love isn’t contingent on my actions.
Trust…obey...is there any other way?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and do not lean on your own understanding,
In all your ways acknowledge Him
And He will make your paths straight.
What about you? Can you share a time when God manifested Himself in a way that reminded you He loves you no matter what?Leave a Comment