Making That Turn

Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble. – Proverbs 28:14

Long ago, when I was learning to drive, my Dad thought it would be a great idea to take me out in the jeep, so I could learn on a stick shift.

On one hand, taking the jeep was a stroke of brilliance, since I could… well, you’ll see why soon enough.

On the other hand, apparently the man had never met me, known me, or spent any time in my presence. I mean who would expect ME to be multi-tasking and coordinated? Really, people. I just have to shake my head.

photo credit: Zlatko Unger via photopin cc

photo credit: Zlatko Unger via photopin cc

Ok, so we’re out on a series of country dirt roads that have zero traffic. Check. I’m in the driver’s seat, and have received both proper instruction and perfect examples of driving technique and skill. Check. Seat belts buckled, mirrors and seat adjusted. Check.

Off we go. I must brag about the straight shots. I was awesome. Flawless. Ok, maybe there was a hint of grindage when switching gears, and we might or might not have lurched with each release of the clutch. But, hey, I’m feeling good, wind in my hair, loving the control I have over this exotic vehicle on this unknown road.

Then it happened. I had to make a turn.

Internally, I have a running commentary. “Foot on clutch. Slow vehicle. Shift gears. Shift gears again because I missed the right gear. Foot off clutch. Turn wheel. Foot on gas.”

Did you see what I missed there? I forgot to release from the wheel turn. The sharp pull of the wheel required to get us around the corner just kept going and we ended up nosediving into the ditch that ran along the roadside.

Apparently I had too much on my multi-task list.

It happened again and again. And again. Now do you see why using the jeep was such a brilliant idea? 4-wheel drive got a work-out that day.

I kept trying to make that turn. If I straightened the wheel out, I forgot a step and ended up stalling out. If I remembered the rest, I always forgot to let the wheel go back to straight.

Do you know what my problem was? The problem was that I kept trying to make that turn! You see, all I had to do to get it right was to simply let go of the wheel once the corner was rounded. Let. Go.

photo credit: julochka via photopin cc

photo credit: julochka via photopin cc

Those two words are what kept Dad and I in the ditch that day.

It’s what keeps me in the ditch most days even now.

When I’m loving the feel of the control over where I’m going, how fast I’ll get there, and when and where to stop, it can feel an awful lot like failure to release that grip. Feeling that steering wheel slide back into place in my open hands can feel even scarier than ending up in the ditch over my own stubborn will.

I so badly want it all to be under my own power, when that power is actually a mirage. I pray that today I can remember to let go.

Mighty God, whisper it to me when I forget. Thank you for your infinite patience and grace for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen…

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May God Bless You,


6 Comments on “Making That Turn

  1. This is a fun analogy! I can just picture you with your dad learning to drive the jeep… and landing in the ditch over and over! LOL (I’m glad you weren’t hurt, by the way!) letting go can be scary, but when we do, our own wills get out of the way and God is free to let His flow!

    Blessings, Joan
    Joan recently posted…In this WorldMy Profile

    • Oh, it was certainly an adventure, Joan! LOL Love you. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  2. Oh wow. This story is perfect to bring life to this often too-familiar but somehow-abstract concept of letting go in life. I love hearing your voice here, because it seems you’re the kind of storyteller that writes the way she talks. I enjoyed this. Glad you were my neighbor at Jennifer’s place this week 🙂
    Amber @ Beautiful Rubbish recently posted…The shape of a lifeMy Profile

    • I’m so glad to meet you, Amber! Thank you for your sweet comment. Heading over now to check out your site. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  3. I couldn’t help but to remember the day I bought my first car. To save money on the car I bought a stick shift and had no idea how to drive it. Trying to teach me in one day was no fun either and it was quite the adventure when I made my way to work the next morning. haha. So funny. Loved your strong and your message, friend. LOVE YOU! We need to catch up on chat soon.
    Beth+(@SimplyBeth3) recently posted…Three Word Wednesday: Love isn’t jealousMy Profile

    • Oh, how I wish we could have learned together! I think going into the ditch with you would have caused hysterical giggles! 🙂 Can’t wait to catch up…. it’s a date! Love you. Heart Hugs <3

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