My father let me climb onto his lap . . . when he drove! He’d be arrested for doing so today. But half a century ago no one cared. Especially in a flat-as-a-skillet West Texas oil field, where rabbits outnumber people. Who cares if little Max sits on Dad’s lap as he drives the company truck (oops, sorry, Exxon) from rig to rig?
I loved it. Did it matter that I couldn’t see over the dash? That my feet stopped two feet shy of the brake and accelerator? That I didn’t know a radio from a carburetor? By no means. I helped my dad drive his truck.
There were occasions when he even let me select the itinerary. At an intersection he would offer, “Right or left, Max?” I’d lift my freckled face and peer over the steering wheel, consider my options, and make my choice.
And do so with gusto, whipping the wheel like a race car driver at Monte Carlo. Did I fear driving into the ditch? Overturning the curve? Running the tire into a rut? By no means. Dad’s hands were next to mine, his eyes keener than mine. Consequently, I was fearless! Anyone can drive a car from the lap of a father.
And anyone can pray from the same perspective.
Prayer is the practice of sitting calmly in God’s lap and placing our hands on his steering wheel. He handles the speed and hard curves and ensures safe arrival. And we offer our requests; we ask God to “take this cup away.” This cup of disease, betrayal, financial collapse, joblessness, conflict, or senility. Prayer is this simple. And such simple prayer equipped Christ to stare down his deepest fear.
Do likewise. Fight your dragons in Gethsemane’s garden. Those persistent, ugly villains of the heart—talk to God about them.
Max Lucado, Fearless: Imagine Your Life without Fear (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012).
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