I’m back, did you miss me?
Sorry I’ve been quiet lately.
Sometimes life can be like a stage in a car rally: racing through winding country roads much faster than is comfortable. The driver clings to the wheel as twists and turns come up on the road ahead, swerving past, over and sometimes through obstacles. All at breakneck speed.
Some of the countryside is beautiful, but it mostly just streams past the windows while you try to focus on the bit of road in front of you and wonder what’s around the next corner.
As I painted this picture God spoke to me about three things:
1. Life isn’t a long, straight, easy highway all the way.
Not for anyone.
There are unexpected twists and turns, hazards and dead ends, and sometimes places where you have no idea which is the way ahead. (There is also occasionally a patch of breathtaking scenery, which you might never have seen if you’d gone an easier way.)
My momentary struggles aren’t a punishment for something I did, or even, necessarily, a result of my bad choices. They’re normal life. Whatever Facebook might be telling you, no-one has it completely easy all the time. It’s tough, but it helps to admit that, to realise that you or your family aren’t the odd ones out here.
2. I’m not in this race alone
Each driver in a rally has a co-driver who has studied the course and made notes about where the turns are. All the way through the race the co-driver calls out that it’s time to turn to the left or right. They’ve already worked out a route past any obstacles, seen where it’s necessary to brake hard and are aware of what’s coming up around the next corner, and the next one.
The driver would do well to listen carefully.
Jesus is the one who goes before me. He’s the one who knows the route through the field of boulders, in and out of the winding lanes or wherever else we end up. In fact he’s the only one who can navigate us through it.
Of course, I do have to listen. And when you’re stressed out and under pressure listening doesn’t always come easily. But it does seem to be possible to choose it. I’m trying.
3. There’s a roll cage
Sometimes we try to reassure ourselves that God will make sure no bad things happen to us if only we follow him and have faith in him. Perhaps the reverse is actually true? I wonder if a deeper faith lies in a place where bad things happen and yet still we follow him. I’ve watched faith-filled people experience the worst and yet survive with their faith mostly in tact. God is also our roll cage.
It was only as I painted this picture from one I found online that I noticed the roll cage in the car. The worst might happen, but the team can survive it.