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Who Rides Shotgun?
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Photo: Hemera
Last summer, I read about a mother of five who was charged with child abuse and cruelty. She allegedly forced two of her children, ages eight and 10, to take turns riding in the trunk of the car on an eight-hour trip from Alabama to Virginia in the month of July. Her reason? There was not enough room in the car. She claimed she didn’t see the harm in it!

Fortunately for this mother, the two girls were not hurt. But any thinking person can imagine the potential danger to the children – suffocation, heat stroke, being rear-ended, all of which could have resulted in the death of a child.

Yet, in a similar way, many of us symbolically stuff the Almighty in the trunk of our car. And, just like this mother, we don’t mean any harm by it. It’s just that we have other priorities and we don’t value the Lord enough to make room for God in the front seat of our lives.

We do this when we neglect the Creator and don’t spend any time with the One who made us. We put God on the back burner. It’s not that we outright reject the Lord. We just relegate the Almighty to a position of lesser importance. Symbolically, we toss God in the trunk with the spare tire and the empty gas can.

God In the Trunk

Now, most people hardly give their spare tire a moment’s notice. That is, until they have a flat. Suddenly, the spare is crucial. It is brought out of the trunk and given a position of importance, holding up the vehicle and propelling it down the road to safety. When the emergency is over however, it gets tossed back into the trunk again.

By the same token, when our lives go flat – when illness, injury or financial ruin strikes – suddenly we remember, “God is in the trunk!” We go around to the back, offer the Lord a hand, dust the Creator off, open the door and invite the Almighty One into the passenger seat. And, then we pray like there’s no tomorrow! 

However, when the emergency has subsided, God no longer gets to ride “shotgun.” The Lord’s place is usurped by another and back to the trunk the Creator goes. It must be painful for God when we do this. For, the Lord longs to be our Driver, gently loosening our grip on the wheel, guiding us down the highway of life. There’s so much the Almighty wants us to see. There’s so much the Lord wants to share with us. The Creator has made us for relationship with God. But relationships must be prioritized if they are to survive. Think about it. What can you spend less time on this week in order to have time left for the Lord – TV, work, shopping, sports?  We must carve out time for God every day. If we do, we will find it the best investment we can possibly make.

"Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love . . ."(Joel 2:13).

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By Kathy A Lewis. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
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