My husband is a better driver than me.
Some say women are better drivers than men, but in our home, hubby is definitely better than me. He has more patience than I do.
And that is where this post begins.
Today is Easter Sunday aka Resurrection Sunday. Ahead of this weekend, I was looking at an Easter by myself. No kids. Nothing. My husband works on Sundays, so I would be by myself.
On Friday, I decided to drive across the state of Washington to go see some family. I’d leave on Saturday and come home on Sunday.
Now, I’ve driven across the state before, but there has always been somebody with me. Even a little person has been with me, which is better than driving alone. However, not this time.
Easter weekend seemed as good of a time as any, so why not, I thought? Let me give it a go.
Did I mention that winter is still here? It snowed where I live last week. The state Department of Transportation closed Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascade Mountains for avalanche control.
I would be driving through the aforementioned, Snoqualmie Pass this weekend. Needless to say, there would be lots of prayer going on in my car during the drive. 🙂
Little did I know what my drive would actually entail.
My husband is a patient driver. He is a very patient man. Especially with me. I, however, am not the most patient person in the world. When I am driving, that is.
Seriously. If the speed limit is 45 mph and you’re doing 30, we have a problem. If you happen to need to turn and you do not use your blinker, we have a problem. If you are in the “fast” lane on the interstate and you either a) aren’t doing the speed limit or b) you don’t move over for someone driving faster than you (like me) – there is a major problem and that is YOU!
Other people’s driving habits drives me nuts (pun intended). I am a get-where-I-need-to-go type of driver. If the speed limit is 45, I’m there. If the speed limit is 60, I’m there. If the speed limit is 25, I’m there, but it can be challenging.
I want to get where I want to go when I want to go with as little disruption as possible.
“But, aren’t you a Christian, Sunny? Shouldn’t you obey the law? Shouldn’t you love your neighbor drivers as yourself?” Yes, I am a Christian. Yes I should obey the law. And yes, I should…but gosh darn it! It’s hard to love others when their driving sucks.
So harsh. So harsh. Lol.
Other drivers are a BIG weakness in my life and I readily admit it.
Leaving Saturday morning, I was mentally prepared to take my time in case I encountered any snow. Snow in mountain passes is no joke. I’ve driven through a blizzard in the Blue Mountains before and that is when I first encountered snow driving. White knuckle, heart-racing, bulging eyes to stay awake driving. I was mentally ready for that.
Whenever I have a plan for driving though, it goes out the window as soon as I encounter the first bad driver.
So, there I am trying to maintain 60-65 on I-90. All of these cars are starting to zoom by me or tailgate, even though the speed limit is 60 mph on that stretch of road! Imagine. Me being passed by.
That ain’t gonna do, Lord. I need to speed up. It’s turning 70 mph here shortly, so I’m going to speed up too.
Driving further along, I start listening to Bible reading. I’m listening and praying, all the while I fluctuate between speed up, slow down, speed up, slow down. I just have to get past these slow people, Lord. Look. There’s a big semi. I need to get past because I don’t want to get stuck behind them, God.
As clear as day, I heard, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.”
I get the obedience thing, Lord. What am I sacrificing?
“Obedience is better than sacrifice.”
I got the message. I needed to obey God and drive like He wanted me to drive. But, the sacrifice part? Not so sure about that.
It sounded like something God would say to me. And, it sounded like scripture. 1 Samuel 15 has the details – Samuel and King Saul:
20 “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”
22 But Samuel replied:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices1 Samuel 15:20-23 (NIV)
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”
God, through the prophet Samuel, gave King Saul instructions. King Saul, in his pride and arrogance did not do what God said to do.
Now, the context of the word sacrifice isn’t quite what I was thinking that God was telling me, but I still got the message about obedience.
As I continued to talk with God about it, He began explaining more to me, but in a different context. — Sacrificing your pride isn’t always easy, especially when you are driving, Sunny. But, in order to obey Me in this, your pride must be sacrificed. You desire control. You desire to “win” at driving by being faster than others, but that isn’t My way. Let go of wanting to control. Let go of trying to get there.
Ugh. I got the message.
I did my best and, for the most part, I did okay. A few times, I failed. But, when I did succeed in obedience, I found myself less stressed out about the “other” drivers. My body wasn’t as wound up when I got out of the car at a rest stop. And, let me tell you something. I had CHUUUUUUURCH in my car.
I had been to church in Kent, WA, this Easter morning. I wanted to continue what I received there and also, the obeying God thing on the drive home.
Oh boy. People are passing me by. Oh no! There are semis up ahead, God. I need to go-go-go-go.
Obedience is better than sacrifice was running through my head. Grumble, grumble, grumble.
Several years ago during a difficult time in my life, I distinctly heard the words, “Go lower”. As I meditated on it back then, God graciously provided many opportunities for me to “go lower”. But, what exactly does that mean?
Going lower in my heart, first means that I pray. What does that look like? To me, that means I bend down and get on my knees or I lay face down before God. It is a posture of surrender.
That isn’t physically possible when one is driving, but I got the picture.
Taking a deep breath, I cleared my mind and went lower mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As I did this, I drove slower – I drove the speed limit.
As I reflect on the weekend, I realize the correlation between the two things God told me.
- 1 – Obedience is better than sacrifice. He said it in this way because He knows me. In things that matter to me, I struggle to obey because of pride. For me to obey in areas of struggle, I have to let go of my pride (sacrifice, if you will) and submit to God.
- 2 – Going lower in the way God thinks, also means a sacrifice of pride. Letting go of my pride, kneeling or bowing before Him and submitting to God.
Much to my surprise, I made good time driving to Seattle and back. I had a few setbacks along the way, but those are a part of life. Even the Christian life.
Setbacks can either teach or dictate to you. If we let them teach, we have an opportunity to learn from our mistakes. If we let them dictate, we begin to operate from a foundation of fear.
I’m not afraid to fail in driving obediently. That feels silly to type, but that’s what it is. Driving obediently. I’m sure I will fail, but I trust that God will remind me as many times as it takes to obey.
He’s done it before in other areas of my life. I’m sure He will do it again. And maybe, just maybe, through my obedience, I’ll become a better driver than my husband.
Just don’t tell him that.
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