Backseat Drivers

Summer is the time for road trips. The kids are out of school, the weather is warm, and undiscovered adventure beckons. And despite skyrocketing gasoline prices, driving is still cheaper than packing everyone into an airplane! Plus there are those priceless hours of family togetherness in the car.

Too often those long hours in the car are accompanied with the sound track of: “ I’m hungry! “ “ I’m thirsty! “ “ Are we there yet?” “I’m bored!” “He’s in my space!” “I have to go potty!” If we have ever traveled with children or have had a sibling, we can relate. Voices from the backseat are distracting and demanding. They can steal our peace and rob us of the enjoyment of the journey. Keeping one eye on the road, the driver often focuses on the turmoil in the backseat, snarling, “Don’t make me stop this car!” “Settle down! Behave!”

Distracted driving is dangerous. The driver jeopardizes his safety, emotionally hooks into the situation in the backseat, and loses his peace of mind. The kids are controlling the adult who is driving, who directs their primary attention on the drama being played out in the backseat. The trip is conducted with the primary focus being on the rear view mirror.

Driving while focusing in the rearview mirror is dangerous in the physical realm (because you could drive off a cliff !) and in the spiritual realm. Don’t drive down the road of life focused on the rear view mirror.

The offspring of Regret are Shoulda, Woulda. and Coulda. All too often we find them firmly planted in the backseat of life. If we listen to them, allow them to steal our joy for the journey, and focus on them, we can plunge ourselves into despair. They will control us if we let them.

Yes, we check the rearview mirror from time to time, to glance at what is behind us, but our focus needs to be on the road ahead. Tune out the demanding voices of the Regret Triple Crown and look to the horizon ahead of you. God has a plan for you; He has mapped out your destination.

Keep your eyes on the road that God has planned for you and don’t allow Regret to be a backseat driver.

Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.


I am the Beverly Hillbillies…

I love taking long drives with my husband because they allow us to spend hours in the car together uninterrupted by phone calls and business meetings. It gives us opportunity for great conversations while discovering places that we have never visited.

While driving around the Florida countryside on one of these get-aways, he turned to me and said, “I have something to tell you. Please don’t take this the wrong way.” ANY statement prefaced with “Don’t take this the wrong way” piques my curiosity. We don’t get many opportunities to get away from work and spend time together; what deep insights did he want to share?

Chuckling, he declared, “I’ve been thinking about this, and I have decided that YOU are the Beverly Hillbillies.”

“Which, Beverly Hillbilly, I asked.” (I have been negatively compared to Granny Clampet by my children when attempting to knock out a cold with a home-brewed remedy, but Ellie Mae is pretty, so that might actually be a compliment.)

“Not just ONE Beverly Hillbilly,” he snorted. “You are ALL of them!” He then elaborated that I am like Jed Clampet because I am frugal and down-to earth and don’t mind the idea of wild game dinners. I am like Granny Clampet because I gardening and canning and use home remedies. I like animals, so I am like Ellie Mae and her “critters” and I am like Jethro Bodine because I am always learning things and watch NASCAR! The only thing missing is striking oil on my property!

The oil companies are drilling all around our ten acres in Michigan but haven’t tried sinking any wells on our property yet, although there are new active oil wells on neighboring farms. I think it is time for me to grab my shotgun and go rabbit hunting to see if I can hit some “bubbling crude.” I hear the “Hills of Beverly” calling my name!