It was tradition that sent Reverend James back to his hometown with his wife, Martha, on a Saturday morning, where he was to preach as he did every first Sunday of August. It began when, at that time ten years ago, he left for the big city to become a pastor, promising to come back one day to preach when he can. It was this time that the Lord chose to put a message in his heart.
After cruising for two hours in their Accord, Martha sighed.
“Are we there yet?” the reverend spoke loudly as if the preaching had already begun.
“That’s a bad sign when the driver is the one asking that question,” Martha replied.
“Well, you got the map.”
“So I do. But we’ve been doing this for years. Aren’t you supposed to have familiarized yourself with the route by now?”
“Oh, I’ve familiarized myself. I’m so familiar with it that I can drive it with my eyes closed. I mean look around you. It’s the same road, the same lampposts, the same fences, the same cars, the same sky, the same everything for the past two hours. It’s like in that TV show when the car went into some other dimension and just drove around for hours.”
“TV is just TV, James. Nothing more.”
The reverend suddenly lit up. “Wait, I remember. It was a plane that went through somewhere, the Bermuda Triangle! Yeah, you remember that? Everyone in the plane said that they’ve been flying for hours in there, but it really was just for fifteen minutes. Then the pilot really argued about the time. Hey, you remember that, ‘God is my co-pilot’ sticker we saw some time ago? Some pastors began arguing that God was in fact the pilot, and I for one agree. I mean, what does a co-pilot do? Repeat what the captain says? ‘Start the engines,’” the reverend imitated a captain’s voice, cool and commanding, “then the co-pilot says, ‘engines,’ then pauses for effect, then says, ‘start.’”
“Aw, leave the airline industry alone, James. Why don’t we just listen to the radio to pass the time,” Martha suggested as she reached out to turn the radio on.
“No, no,” the reverend pushed her hand away, “I’m getting at something. Why not, instead of God being a pilot, we make God the driver? Tell me how this sounds. When we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, it’s like giving Him the wheel of our car in life’s journey? That’s good huh?”
“Splendid,” Martha managed a smile.
Just then a police car went past them on the other lane with its sirens on.
“Oh, do you remember that time when you got a ticket for speeding and you got so scared you couldn’t speak?” Martha teased.
The reverend slammed his hands on the wheel and laughed so heartily that made Martha uneasy. “Martha, you’re a genius! That’s right. See, if God is in the wheel, He gets the citations, the tickets, everything! ‘Just like when you accept Him as your Lord and Savior: all your sins count for nothing – those you did before, and those that you confess. But without Christ and you on the wheel, you take responsibility for your sins and the consequences that comes with them. That’s great thinking there, Martha. It’s no wonder that I married you.”
“Oh, right,” Martha said, not quite sure what to say. Then, she said, “But be careful when you make a sermon out of it, you hear? You know how your analogies don’t sometimes work.”
An hour passed before the countryside emerged, and a beautiful mountain range emerged before them. Martha gasped. “I sure don’t know why we didn’t think about moving here. The sight is so gorgeous!”
The reverend agreed. “Right, just like heaven. I’m sure glad you noticed it.” Then he exclaimed. “Hey! That’s great! With the Lord on the wheel we are able to see the beauty of life, because you don’t worry that much! Martha, I’m surprised that you’re not a pastor. Are you sure you don’t want to trade jobs with me?”
Martha was pleased with the complement. “I’m not sure what I did, but whatever it was, I’m glad you liked it.”
“You just told me about the best analogy of salvation I’ve ever heard.”
And so the good reverend had his message delivered, after prayer and careful consultation with the Word of God, as the Lord had planned.
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