I don’t care for cruise control. Until recently, I really wasn’t sure why. And if anyone needs cruise control, it’s me. They called me Lead Foot Lucy in high school and college. I have deferred adjudication, endured defensive driving and contested tickets more than anyone I know. But I’m still always reluctant to use this safety feature.
This past holiday season marked two years in a row that my little family of four drove the entirety of Christmas day. This time to Pueblo, Colorado. That’s a solid 10 hour drive from where we live in the Dallas, Texas area. My husband typically drives everywhere we go together; so I managed Spotify, lead us in a road game and helped search for the cleanest looking options for potty breaks.
At some barren spot in between the Texas panhandle and the edge of New Mexico, he said, “You really should try your cruise control. It’s amazing.” I skeptically had him show me how. You see, I had my last car for nine years and never learned to use it. Chuck explained that my new car (I call her Pearl) has adaptive cruise control. And he demonstrated how it would automatically adjust the vehicle speed to maintain a safe distance from the car ahead. Then if we change lanes, it would adjust to resume the set speed selected. No resetting necessary.
Trying Cruise Control
I had the opportunity two days later to test it out. My daughter needed to be home for the Passion Conference (if you haven’t heard of it, you should look it up) so the girls and I drove home and left my husband to fly home a few days later. Not wanting to turn my lead foot loose in podunk speed traps, I set the cruise and took my foot off the gas. I immediately experienced an uncalled for amount of anxiety, and knew why I didn’t like cruise control. Because I am not in control.
I don’t like roller coasters or haunted houses or snow skiing (granted I didn’t give it much of a chance). Cruise control is no different. I don’t like the feeling of not being in control. But disliking speeding tickets even more, I pushed through my discomfort and tried to trust this technology.
It probably took a couple of hours (or maybe more) for me to relax. As I experienced Pearl regress and surge and signal me for potential dangers, I got more and more comfortable with my foot off of the gas. As my white knuckles regained their pink hue, I began to believed that cruise control could protect me. Not only from speed traps, but from the ebbs and flows of traffic.
Putting My New Knowledge to Work
A couple of days after my return home I spoke with a friend struggling with some difficult family dynamics. “I need prayers, Lauren,” she said. “I have no control over this situation and it’s so hard!” Feeling a nudge, I shared my cruise control story. While we talked I related to how difficult it is for us to release the appearance of control. (And how we know control is never really ours, but God’s.) But when we relax our white knuckle grip we can see that God is protecting us. He knows where we need to go, what we need to do and if we need to change lanes. He knows better than we ever could when we need to slow down or go faster and he can guide us to safe distances.
Usually when someone declares themselves “on cruise control”, they mean that they are proceeding with minimal effort. My friend and I decided that for us in 2023, it would mean releasing control to God. Taking our hands off the wheel, if you will. The metaphor falls apart a little here, but hopefully, you get my Tokyo drift.
What do you need to release to the One in control in this new year?
“Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8 NIV
And now for this week’s featured post from the link up!
My friend Stacey Pardoe has written a new online devotional that would be great study for the new year. Check out Let God Set You Free!
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