LAST WEEK WAS DIFFICULT FOR ME. Not my-life-is-over difficult, but it was tough. I cried a lot, and I’m not much of a crier. I wasn’t feeling well physically, I was hugely disappointed over a matter of prayer that I felt hadn’t been answered in the way I was hoping, my 2-year-old was acting out more than usual (we’re talking serious tantrums), and my home was in chaos (partly for reasons out of my control, and partly my own fault).
I’m feeling better now, but honestly, not too much has changed. I’m away from home, and vacation is definitely helping. But a mess is waiting for me, my prayer still hasn’t
been answered definitively, and we’re not out of the woods yet tantrum-wise.
I’m not feeling perfect peace, but I’m getting closer to it. The more I’ve been able to let go of things and give them to God instead of hanging on and trying to fix everything
myself, the better I’ve felt. When I loosen my grip on things I want to control and let God lead, things go a lot more smoothly.
THE SONG THAT CHANGED MY APPROACH
When I was a kid in a one-room Christian school, we had worship every morning. We always sang, and one of our favorite songs was “Over the Sea.” It included a special set of motions, and we loved it! I hadn’t sung it in years until Baby A was just a few months old and crying inconsolably. Somehow that old song popped into my head. I held his hands to do the motions, and he stopped crying. I sang it to him again and again that afternoon, and I kept thinking about how the words had never made sense to me—not as a kid, and even less now.
“Over the sea, over the sea; Jesus, save your pilot, me!
Over the sea, over the sea, over the jasper sea.”
Yeah, it’s a strange song.
But then I had an “aha!” moment (yes, in my mid-30s I finally figured it out), and I realized that all my life I’d been singing the song all wrong. I mean, the way I was singing it sounded right, but it wasn’t. The revelation came to me instantly as I sat there alone in a room with my baby, and I actually turned bright red and looked around as if someone might have witnessed my sudden internal awakening to the real lyrics.
“Over the sea, over the sea; Jesus, Savior, pilot me! Over the sea,
over the sea, over the jasper sea!”
WHO’S THE LEADER?
All my life I’d been thinking how weird it was that someone wrote a song about being Jesus’ pilot, how crazy the syntax of the song was (it drove me a little nuts even as an elementary schooler), and how it was even weirder that my teachers and church leaders didn’t think any of that was an issue (theologically or linguistically).
In reality, though, it was just I who was confused. And although I could have gotten away without anyone knowing about my madeup lyrics, here I am making a public admission of my ridiculous mistake because it exactly illustrates how I live my life sometimes (and you might do this too).
Sometimes I live like I’m the pilot and have control. I like control—until something goes wrong and I have to call in Jesus to save me. Then when He does, I go sailing on my merry way, never relinquishing the steering wheel, over the jasper sea.
Really, though, I need to be living life as if Jesus has saved me and is saving me by being my pilot. The steering wheel is not mine to touch!
LET GOD LEAD
Of course, all that is easier said than done. However, I’m resolved to be more intentional about letting God lead and not trying to do things the other way around. If this is an issue for you too, join me in handing control back to the One to whom it belongs.