I’m not a big fan of driving. I drive because I have to. Sometimes I even have to be forced to do it. It took a while for me to realize my kids have places to go and my husband is somewhere else.
I’m still not comfortable giving friends rides, however. And I still get lost, even with the GPS on.
Which is why I avoid highways. Because I miss exits all the time.
But then there’s this dichotomy.
When I have to be somewhere, I want to know exactly how to get there. I want to know how far it is, which turns to take, and when to switch lanes. And I want a full tank, always.
But when I’m actually in my car, driving, I just want to keep driving. I get lost in my thoughts and in the music I’m playing. Sometimes I forget where I’m going, because I’m enjoying the trip too much.
In the Spring and Fall, I get even more lost, because I pay more attention to the riotous display of color than to that exit I was supposed to take.
I guess I like driving for the sake of driving, and I don’t like driving because I have to be somewhere. No, it doesn’t make sense to me either.
These past few months, I feel like I’ve just been driving with no destination in sight. And the road has gotten less picturesque, and I’ve been swerving to avoid potholes, only to hit bumps that rattle me from head to toe.
Lately, I feel like I’ve ran out of gas.
There’s this story in the Bible [in Mark 1: 40-45, if you want to check it out] that just recently took on a whole new different meaning for me. It’s about that leper, and Jesus, and how he asked for healing in the most trusting way possible.
“Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
If you are willing.
If. You. Are. Willing.
Talk about the kind of faith I need.
Now, God has proven himself to be faithful. And yet, while I know we’re supposed to walk by faith and not by sight, I find I still prefer a map and clear markings from A to Z.
But then, even during those rare moments when He gives me directions from Point A to Point B, I take off and make several detours along the way. At times, I think I know better. Other times, I get distracted. Most of the time, my own voice drowns out all others.
It’s the kind of driver I am.
It’s the kind of person I am.
Which is why that leper’s words hit me like a sledgehammer.
“If you are willing.”
Not, “If you can.”
Oh, that leper knew without a doubt Jesus had it in him.
So Lord, if you are willing…
…you can make me a life app like Google maps, with a password only you and I know, and life will be so much easier to navigate.
…you can make every little dream come true, and I’ll be so much happier.
…you’ll make all evil disappear, and I’ll be so much braver.
I have a feeling I won’t get the same response the leper did.
Not because God can’t, but because he probably won’t.
See, I keep seeing Jesus in that garden, praying so hard his sweat was like blood.
And I remember how the Father did not take the cup away from him.
And I know, I just know, he means for me to keep my cup as well.
So faith of that leper’s brand is the only way for me to go. Not as a crutch, because it really is the harder choice.
I’m choosing to keep driving, even when the tank isn’t full and the road is dark and full of potholes.
I’m choosing to keep driving, even when the GPS isn’t working, and I’m not sure what’s waiting for me at the other end.
I’m choosing to keep driving, even if I’m leaving what’s comfortable behind and entering strange lands.
Because if God is willing, he’ll keep me company. And in this instance, I have no doubt he is.