Friday, August 10, 2012

Be Like a Sack of Potatoes and Trust God

A number of years ago, I gave Pam, my housemate, a ride on my motorbike.  She did not usually ride that particular kind of transportation, and was quite nervous about it.  She held on for dear life.  As we rounded a corner, she attempted to help “steer” by trying to turn me at my waist.  I had to laugh.  Our conversation went something like this.
“Pam,” I said, “you can’t steer the bike by turning me.”
“Well, what should I do?  How can I help you?”
“You don’t have to do anything at all.”  I pointed out a passing motorbike that had a big sack of potatoes strapped onto the seat. “Do you see that sack of potatoes on the back of that bike?”
“Yes, why?”
“Is it doing anything to help the driver steer?”
“That’s what you need to do.  Just sit there and relax.  Be a sack of potatoes.”
“OK. Got it.  I’m a sack of potatoes. I’m a sack of potatoes.”
How different my daughter Rachel is when she rides with me. She doesn’t attempt to steer.  She doesn’t try to do anything to “help” me drive.  She just sits there and enjoys the ride, usually talking a blue streak or singing.  When she gets sleepy, she contentedly leans back and takes a nap in the special seat I have had made for her.  She knows that I can handle getting us to our destination.
As we go through life, we need to remember that God is steering the motorbike of our lives.  We can trust God to have things under control.  We don’t need to
constantly strive and worry about things that are actually God’s responsibility.  Often, though, we try to “help God steer” our lives, telling Him how He should handle this or that situation.  When you think about it, this is really quite ridiculous.  Proverbs has something to say about this.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Far too often, we think we know what is best and do all in our power to steer our lives in that direction.  We neglect to ask God where He wants us to go.  We lean on our own understanding without consulting the One whose wisdom far surpasses ours.  How foolish!  How presumptuous!  Let’s learn to submit to God’s ways, and rest in the knowledge that He knows best.
This “sack of potatoes” analogy has its limitations, of course.  While we do need to trust God to direct and steer our lives, He does not expect us to be completely passive.  There is indeed a time for action.  That action, though, should come after we have taken the time to seek God’s direction.
Even when it comes to Rachel on my bike, I DO need her to do…or NOT do…a few things.  I need her to wear her helmet.  I need her to not wiggle around too much.  I need her, from time to time PLEASE, to stop chattering so I can concentrate on the road. J
God wants us to do a few things as well.  He wants us to put on our spiritual “helmets”, the armor of God, to protect us for the journey.  He wants us to stop insisting on our own way, and engaging in the myriads of things that can distract us from the journey with Him.  He longs for us to sometimes just be still, and know that He is God.  (Psalm 46:10)
When we have done that, we can step out of the “bag of potatoes” and move forward in confidence, knowing that we are moving in the direction God wants us to go.

I Wonder...
Who are you most like in your relationship with God? Are you like Pam who tried to steer from the back seat, or Rachel who trusts enough to rest contentedly as I drive?  I invite you to click the word "comment" at the bottom of this post to leave your answer. 


  1. There have been times I have tried to "help" God and it was when I was praying for something to go the way I wanted it to go. I learned that it doesn't work like that. Great post!

  2. Oh. Dear this is certainly something I needed to hear
    Love it Julie

  3. @Debbie - We often "hope" it works like that, but it really doesn't. Thanks for the comment.

    @Marette - I'm glad it spoke to you. I really appreciate you commenting.

    It is really encouraging to know people are reading. Please feel free to share this blog with your friends, too.

    By the way, did you notice the "Reactions" section at the bottom of each post?


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