Coming out of the season of prayer and fasting that the SDB World Federation called us to, I would like to share one of the clear pictures that kept coming to my mind: driving a Tesla. Let me explain.
A few months ago, I was visiting friends who had recently purchased a Tesla. I knew a little bit about the electric powered car, but had not previously grasped the vast array of autopilot options available with a Tesla. The Traffic-Aware cruise control is impressive when the car automatically adjusts speed based on the other vehicles around. The Auto Lane change is an especially impressive self-driving feature—to watch the car change lanes without the driver touching the steering wheel is mind boggling.
Now, while I watched my friend drive, I was impressed by the capabilities of the Tesla. When my friend had me drive, the car’s features led me to cramp up with anxious concerns. The cruise control took a little getting used to, but I was able to build trust that the Tesla would truly slow down and adjust speed appropriately. What freaked me out were the lane changes. When the car would start to auto change lanes, I would incessantly grab hold of the steering wheel and take personal control of the driving. I just could not trust the Tesla that much—which my friend thoroughly enjoyed chiding me about!
Here is why that picture kept coming to mind during this season of prayer—how much am I trusting God? When life has been going along on standard cruise control, it has been fairly easy to acknowledge my trust in God’s leading and guidance. When it comes to this current coronavirus season of uncertainty and “lane changes” though, I have wanted to grab hold of the steering wheel and personally navigate my life course.
This is not a matter of me waking up one morning and announcing that I am now the captain of my own vehicle, and that God is simply a copilot. It is much more gradual and subtle than that. The transition creeps in when I check the news first thing in the morning when I wake up and last thing at night before I go to bed—taking precedence over the timing of my morning and evening devotions. It creeps in by what my conversation focuses on with my family and friends. It creeps in when I spend more time asking ‘what if’ questions rather than focusing on ‘Who is with me’ thoughts about God. It creeps in when I believe I am too busy to be able to stay immersed in healthy spiritual disciplines. It creeps in when I wander from savoring and enjoying the rhythm of weekly Sabbath rest.
I am incredibly thankful for the weekend of fasting and prayer that the SDB World Federation invited us into—I appreciate the opportunity to join with others in intercessory prayer for individuals, churches, communities, and our world community. At the same time, I am especially grateful that God works through these seasons of prayer to open our own eyes, and draw us ever closer to Him.
Grace and peace,
Carl Greene, Executive Director, Seventh Day Baptist General Conference of USA and Canada