Friday, July 19, 2013

Thrill of a Lifetime

     A garbage dump, a prison, and a small racetrack.  These were the only places of note that we could discern as the Captain and I drove to meet my grandparents and family for a "surprise treat."  Once you're headed west on I-40 and are out about ten miles, it's amazing how impressive the West Side of Albuquerque--isn't. Nevertheless, my brother, The Scout, began bouncing up and down in his seat the moment we turned into the track, his car-soaked imagination instantly putting together endlessly delightful possibilities concerning why we might be here.  And the Captain and I were beginning to feel equally excited.    
     Even so, I'm not sure any of us were prepared to meet up with former professional Indy car driver and all-around-nice-guy, Jim Guthrie, who then invited us to individually climb inside this monster and go for a spin.  It seemed that the unwritten code of "Ladies First" was going to play out in my favor!  I jammed a helmet on my head, jumped in the car, buckled in (the seatbelt had six parts to it) and away we went!
     Now for those who had never experienced what a professional racer apparently does for fun in his tricked out Corvette, it involves rocketing towards tight turns at ninety-five miles per hour, and downshifting at the last possible nanosecond, the car hugging the curves as tightly as an Italian grandmother squeezes her grandkids.  This, then led to a ride in Jim's Mustang drift racer, whose only purpose is to completely loosen the back end of the car, and hit every turn...sideways!  I confess that even my adventure-loving and roller-coaster-craving brain began to instantly receive some red alerts.
  "Mayday mayday!  Hit the brakes!  Abandon ship!  Say your prayers!  You can't make that turn!" 
     In plain English...I was going to die.  However, I was not the one in control of the car, a fact that I'm sure we can all be infinitely thankful for.  And as I relaxed after the first few turns, a thought popped into my adrenaline laced head.  
     "Do you trust the driver of this car?  Because if you do, then you have nothing to fear.  You can enjoy the thrill of the ride, because this car is in the calm hands of a man who knows exactly what he is doing."  
     After that, I had absolutely no problem savoring every action-packed second, allowing my fears to be left in the 100 mile an hour dust behind us, or to be burned up like the literally smoking rubber on the car tires.
Strange though it may sound, I was becoming downright philosophical, as we tore through the speedway.  
     Our lives are unpredictable, challenging, and downright wet-your-pants scary sometimes.  And though we clench our hands in vain control, we can never fully grasp the power of ultimate agency.  At times we feel adrift in a raging sea that threatens to swallow us, drag us down to the depths of a great and horrible darkness.  But...if we bend our knees to the King, the one who is truly in control, then we know perfectly that that darkness will never defeat us.  
     We may not be driving the car, but the Lord is, and if we place our trust in Him alone, then we are able to let go and to enjoy the thrill of our lifetime.  In moments of greatest fear, we have only to look beside us to know that even in the midst of our trial we are safe in His hands.  And in moments of joy, we may throw our arms up in exultation, reveling in the adventure of the ride and laughing at the dangers we face.  
    When you lose control, and everything in your world appears to be racing towards a brick wall at top speeds, look to your left and ask yourself, "Do I trust my driver?  Do I trust His promise to never leave or forsake me?  Do I trust that He loves me infinitely, and that even during times when my aching heart just simply doesn't understand, He knows the road ahead, and that every hairpin turn or gentle curve is only a step on the track that will lead me home?  
          In what ways do you try to control your life.  Is is hard for you to relinquish agency, or do you allow yourself to trust and experience the thrill of your lifetime?  I've often thought that a life lived safely, within the parameters of fear and control, is a life not lived fully.  Take a deep breath and plunge in.  Relax in the arms of the one whose hands created the world, and who's tender touch longs for you to run to Him.  If you do, you might just find yourself suddenly out the door and embarking upon a grand adventure.  And maybe...just maybe, you'll find yourself enjoying something like this!
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  1. I love to drive! In fact, I much prefer driving myself, to being a passenger. However, right now I have had to relinquish my driving skills, and take a backseat to the King. I know he is the master driver, and will keep me safe along this road. Thanks for the beautiful analogy, beautiful niece! Love you ...

  2. Awesome piece! And now, I am supremely jealous.

  3. Melissa - Your latest blog must have been written just for me! I needed to be reminded about the driver in the left seat - that He never makes mistakes, He knows what's ahead, and He is in complete control at all times. I don't have to be! So, now, I can take a deep breath and plunge in! Literally! Your skills as an author are being used for the glory of the King! I THANK GOD FOR YOU. Love, Grandma