Faith,  Raising Children

When the Backseat Driver is You

backseat driver

My youngest child has recently started taking an interest in our car rides. Where before he would sit in his car seat and talk about whatever came to mind – animal sounds, water towers, school buses (you know, the usual) – he’s now decided he should get a say in how, where and why I drive.

Sometimes it’s pretty cute and can make for interesting conversation.

“Mommy, where are we going? Are we going to Mimi’s? I like going to Mimi’s. Will we see cows on the way? What about tigers?”

Other times it gets a bit frustrating.

“Mommy, go faster! Faster! FASTER!”

Lately, though, I’ve noticed a distressing similarity between the way my son complains about our car rides to me with the way I complain about the journey I’m on to God.

I don’t want to go that way.

Why are we going so slowly?

Why does everyone else seem to be passing me?

I don’t like this traffic, make it an easier trip.

I take the bumps and the detours as personal affronts to the plans I’ve made in advance.

I wish constantly that things wouldn’t take so long to happen, and then complain when other things fly by too fast.

I look at the path God has laid out, look up at heaven, and say…nah. That can’t be right.

Then I try to wrestle the map out of His hand and search to find a better route to where I think I should be.

I watch other people on different paths, and I ask why they have it so much easier, better, or more exciting.

Instead of listening for direction I charge forward in my own power.

Instead of following His lead, I grab the wheel and mow ahead.

Do you ever wonder what it would look like if we stopped trying to be the backseat driver? What if we stopped trying to be the trip planner, navigator, driver, and commentator, but instead focused on the joy and peace of being the passenger?

What if when we said, Jesus take the wheel, we actually meant it?

“Mommy, go faster!”

“Slow down, son, enjoy the trip.”

backseat driver

Sandra Samoska is a writer with a love for Jesus and a love for family. When she's not chasing around her four kids and doing all the things, you can find her writing about the ways God shows up in our every day lives.

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