-by Kimberly Morrison
Sunday is market day in our little village, and that means our usual route to the highway is blocked by vendors setting up their booths, delivery trucks dropping off product, and hundreds of busy shoppers buying their weekly groceries. That means we get to take the “back way” if we leave the house. “Bumpiest way” would be more fitting, but I digress.
We were on our way to church one morning, taking the back way. We recently had a huge rain storm because of the cyclone that hit Malawi, and our normally bumpy roads were extra “rip the bottom off your vehicle and send you to the chiropractor” that day, so we were being tossed about like rag dolls. We were hitting our heads on the windows, on the roof of the van, and on each other. The bumps were even more special in the back of the van where I was sitting and attempting to brush and braid Moriah’s hair. Moriah was bracing herself for the jolts and jars of the bumpy ride with a gleeful grin on her face and entertaining herself with her signature creepy but cute diabolical giggle.
“Dis is fun mom!!! Don’t you fink dis is fun?!” She exclaimed. I was holding one of her hair ties in my lips while tensing up from head to toe to brace myself, so when I didn’t answer immediately, she added, “well, I fink dis is fun, because I’m a little kid!”
That’s when it hit me. Not a flying object projected from the impact of a bump, but how she could be so happy and blissfully unaware as we went dangerously off-roading through the village.
She knew she was safe with her hero, daddy, at the wheel. Knowing her daddy was up front navigating the dangerous and bumpy road made her free to enjoy the experience and find the adventure in it.
As children of God, shouldn’t we be even more so free to enjoy the experience and find the adventure in all things, knowing that our Perfect Father is at the proverbial wheel guiding our lives?
The times in my life when I experience the most fear and anxiety are the times when I’m at the wheel driving my own desires, navigating my own plans, and trying to dodge the bumps and potholes on my own. And the times I experience the most peace, joy, and rest are when I allow Father God to be at the wheel.
Honestly, if I had been able to answer Moriah, I would have made it abundantly clear that I didn’t find it as fun as she did. I prefer the comfort of a smoothly paved road. And being a taller person, I was able to see some of the scary bumps, mudholes, and crevices we were driving through. I was honestly concerned that we were going to get stuck or tear up the bottom of our van. I was too focused on staying perfectly still and stable in my seat, and worried about what might happen to us or the van to see the fun and adventure in the situation. Moriah, in her pink, prissy, and sheltered life, has never experienced insurmountable tragedy. She knows her daddy takes good care of us and she doesn’t have to worry about the details. Her job is to have fun and listen for instructions.
I love Matthew 18:3; “unless you turn and become like children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Growing up we were taught that passage meant in order to go to heaven, you have to be innocent, pure, or blameless. I’m learning more and more every day, however, that Jesus was telling us become more dependent on Father God and less dependent on ourselves. He’s telling us to become more blissfully unaware of the “what ifs” and to trust in our perfect Father so much that we can find joy and adventure in our everyday lives.
Oh how I long to be more like Moriah. Fearless and full of joy, and finding the adventure in every moment. Forsaking my comforts and fears to rest in the assurance that my Daddy is at the wheel and not shrinking back from the unknown. I fink dat will be fun.