I’ve had a problem that’s been mounting for weeks.
Here’s the background: My first-grade daughter is a ‘walker’ after school. That means that she comes out the back door of the school and I am there to pick her up. On nice days we walk home. If the weather is not-so-good, I park the car in the parking lot across from the street and we drive home. Several other moms have the same system.
As it turns out, a few of the other moms allow their children to ride in the front seat on the short drive home. My daughter caught wind of that fact and started running ahead of me and hopping in the front seat of our car. To make matters worse, she persuaded her younger sister to do the same (it didn’t take a whole lot of convincing).
The situation came to a head on Friday afternoon. I reached the car only to find my seven-year-old and my four-year-old both sitting in the front seat with the seatbelt straining around them. After much coaxing and pleading on my part, I managed to get them both buckled into their car seats in the back.
“Good grief,” I thought, driving home. “I don’t want to go through this every day.”
That’s when it hit me – a stroke of parental genius.
When we got home, I told the girls I had something to show them. Luckily, my husband hadn’t erased The Blind Side when he purged our DVR two weeks ago. I cued up the part where Michael is driving Sean Junior to the store to buy the latest Madden game. With eyes riveted to the TV, the girls winced at the crash and its aftermath. To my delight, they hung on every word the police officer said to Leigh Anne Tuohy about airbags deploying at 200 miles an hour.
“Children do not belong in the front seat, Mrs. Tuohy.”
“Children do not belong in the front seat, Rebekah and Rachel.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
By the end of the clip, I think they got the point. In fact, I think they got the point so well that they’ll never ride in the front seat of a car again.
They’ll be two little Miss Daisies, driven around until they’re 80.
Now I don’t normally resort to scare tactics. But in this case I had to make an exception. Their safety was on the line. I had to get their attention.
My guess is that God has to get our attention every once in a while, too.
We strain against Him, willfully pursuing our own way. We want what others have. We hurt others. We live only for ourselves. But that’s not part of God’s plan.
He has given us guidelines for living in the Bible. Not because He’s mean. Not because He’s unjust. Quite the opposite. Consider this passage from Hebrews 12:
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Hebrews 12:7 – 9
Did you catch that last word? Live! God wants the best for us. He wants us to experience the best that life has to offer during our brief ride on this planet.
So the next time He plucks you from the front seat and straps you in the back, remember He’s driving. He’ll get you home safely.
Let’s talk: Have you been facing any trials recently? Can you see God’s hand at work through them?