My alarm rings and I’m up like a shot. Well, a slow shot. I’m excited about the day ahead and the challenges that God has in store. I’m confident of His goodness, open to His leading and flexible enough to roll with whatever He has planned. It’s gonna be a glorious day.
The alarm really goes off and this time I’m not dreaming. I crawl out of bed, croaking for caffeine. I’m daunted by the day ahead and all the challenges I’ve set for myself. How will I ever get them done? I don’t know how I’ll get through my to-do list, but it has to be done and everyone else will have to fit around it. I wish I could just go back to bed.
Two snapshots of the same day. One, led and equipped by the sovereign Lord. The other, driven by my impulses and need for control. One, with God in the driver’s seat. One where I’m wrestling the steering wheel out of His hands. (Well, trying). One where I’ve got a sense of purpose and peace. The other, clouded by worries and stress. One, a day of grace and peace; the other, a day of grit and fear.
So, how do I choose?
In a sense, it’s the wrong question. I don’t have the power to choose or the power to change. I might see myself as Lewis Hamilton, tearing up the calendar…but I’m not in the driver’s seat at all. In fact, I’m not even in the car. The Bible tells me I’m a spectator, cheering on the real champion. But He wins the race on my behalf.
He supplies the car and He gives the fuel.
He takes the curves and the hairpin bends.
He negotiates the potholes and He pushed forwards.
He lifts me out of the pit (stops) and carries me across the finish.
Think of when you’re watching your favourite player in a big game. In one sense, you’re a million miles from action; (it might even be on TV). Yet in another sense, you’ve never missed a training day. You’ve followed their progress; and their triumphs are yours. Go Messi, you shout. That’s my man. That’s my hero.
And it’s the same with Jesus.
We are caught up in His sufferings – and His victory. But we don’t do it for Him. He does it all on our behalf. And there’s more. As He rises over death and sin and fear; He lifts us on His shoulders. WE are His prize; and we are His reward.
The alarm rings and we’re weak and overwhelmed. We’re daunted by all that lies ahead and we don’t have the strength. But in our weakness we cry out. And our champion answers. He is our strength. He runs the race for us and He will lead us across the finish line.