I want Jesus to be my co-pilot….well maybe not

My husband, our twins, and I took an 8 hour trip to visit my parents recently. On the way to their house, I must admit, I didn’t start praying for our travel until about half way through the trip when we were STILL driving at 4am, the twins were awake and crying and we hadn’t even made it half way. My husband and I were at each other’s throats, we were tired, cranky, and the noise level in the car made it impossible for us to sleep.
We spent several days with my parents which was very nice. I got some alone time with my mother, who prays EVERY TIME she leaves one destination and goes to another. Truthfuly many times I take traveling mercies for granted as admittedly I was still very tired and thought “McDonalds is right across the street can’t you just pray on the WAY there so I can get my drink?!?!?”.
Before we left for our long trip home, I prayed with my husband and the twins for a safe trip home. My major concern was that the kids would sleep as we had arrived at my parents house with no other incident than raw nerves. We left aat 8pm with me in the driver’s seat (this was so that the kids would be READY to sleep when we departed). Half way through our journey we were driving through the mountians when my husband pointed out the lightning up ahead. The lightning shown so brightly it lit up the whole mountian side. Was I worried? NO! I had drivin in rain before, and like I said we made it one way safely why not this way? Suddenly there was a downpour like I had never seen. There was NO visibility. There were semis on the road throwing additional water on the car, the wind was forcing the car into the next lane, and the road was instantly flooded so you couldn’t even see the lane markers. I asked my husband to post something on Facebook so the church family (at least the insomniacs who happened to be awake) could pray, but there was no signal. At that point it was just us and God. I kept praying “Lord just get us out of this storm…keep my family safe” eventually it got bad enough that we had to put on the hazard lights (along with every other vehicle out there) and sit on the sholder. We were able to creep our way through the storm at the tune of 5mph…all the while I was wishing I could just give the steering wheel to someone else.
Afterward I began to think about how my pastor talks about those bumper stickers that say “I want Jesus to be my co-pilot” and how people want Jesus to sit on the sidelines, help them out now and then and them ultimately be in control. I think the truth is most people don’t want Jesus to be their co-pilot. I think they want him to be like that guy in the movies, you know the ones….the co-pilot and pilot have just had heart attacks and the sewardess announces on the loudspeaker that the plane is going to crash until some random passanger admits they know how to fly the plane. Not only do they fly the plane through the storm, but they land quite nicely in some picturesque field surrounded by curious farmers and sleepy cows (never harming any of them mind you), and they do all of this while the gas tank is on empty and one of the engines has fallen from the sky and landed on someone’s house two states over. Oh yeah…and the doctor that “just so happens to be on the plane” resuscitates the pilot and co-pilot and they go back to work the next day while our heros move on with their lives. If we are truly honest that’s who we want Jesus to be, the faithful hero who fixes whatever disaster you’ve gotten yourself into and is otherwise not involved in your life. Honestly for most of us, Jesus being a co-pilot would be a promotion to him.
Here’s the problem though, Jesus wants to be the PILOT, not the co-pilot, not the heroic passenger but the PILOT! Believe me, we need to start letting Jesus take and keep the wheel in our lives, because most of the time planes are full of frazzled moms with irritated babies, drunks, CEO’s, and and accountants who have NEVER flown a plane and Jesus might just let your plane crash so that you come to him to start over. that was just my thought of the day. Have a good one!

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