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Holding My Steering Wheel

January 30, 2018

It was a typical hot and humid North Carolina summer, just like I like it. I was doing yard work with my dad. Side note: This is where I started my singing career. I unashamedly sang Carrie Underwood on a lawn mower in stranger's yards for years. Anyway, I was about to cut this sweet old lady's grass when my dad introduces me to our oldest Snapper lawn mower. "Now, Kenzie, the brakes don't work too good so don't speed up on anything." He points to the steering wheel, "I lost the bolt for this last week so it's a bit loose." Without another word, daddy fills up my tank and off I go to manicure the lawn. This woman was one of those that loved exterior decor. She had this fountain, a bench swing, ten random bushes throughout the yard, and of course, it wouldn't be complete without the family of gnomes and frog figurines. These things were scattered throughout the yard down a relatively steep incline. Well, this particular day I was singing my heart out at the top of the hill, I turn sharply and I'm heading straight for the bench swing!! In an absolute panic, I push my foot down on my lagging break so hard that I pull the wheel off my steering wheel!! With wide eyes, my focus was hazing in-between the wheel in my right hand and the gnome family that was now dead ahead. My daddy tells it this way, "I look up to Kenzie speeding down the hill. I don't know what she was thinking, but I know what she was singing: Jesus Take the Wheel!" 


Ha! I love that story. 


But I was thinking about that story as I was considering my love/hate relationship with social media. My daddy put me on that lawn mower because it allowed me to complete a task. He knew some of the issues I might face with it, but he and I both assumed I was capable of maneuvering without getting tripped up. Next thing he knows, I'm plummeting down about to take out the helpless gnomes and it was too late to stop me! And I feel that we can all resonate with this particular ride. We hop on, knowing it's dangers, but we think we can handle ourselves. That's until we look over and the steering wheel is in our right hand. But for many of us, you can literally look in your right hand and see your steering wheel. Your phone. 


I glance around at my friends with their steering wheel in hand, plummeting down to a much more costly end... The waste of a life. 


I read this morning in a book by Judah Smith, Life Is _____, and he talked about his personal obsession with social media. He said that on a trip to Maui the first thing people do is check for WiFi to see what is going on at home in Minnesota! Or maybe you're like him, and you go and snap the best view of the beach to caption it "ocean front," but your hotel is actually ten blocks off the beach. We all are obsessed reliving a past moment or posting of those up and coming! But our present moments are not spent where we are! Our present moments are hung up in the insecurity of the Who's Who of our followers! As if any of the stuff we post on Facebook is even an accurate description of us.  


I've honestly felt like I have to humanize myself when I'm revisiting old friends because I forget all they know about me is my Facebook status' or my Instagram stories. I guess I failed to post all the failures, fears, insecurities, disappointments, illnesses, hurts...ETC!! But we get so caught up in thinking we know all about each other that we forget the last time we had a real conversation! We forget to carry each other's burdens and live in the moment because we are too busy organizing our Insta feeds. We are so preoccupied with EVERYTHING that is not actually here with me. My friend's pet, my neighbor's breakfast, that meme that has been posted ten different times this week... 




Is anybody sick of the vacuum of free time, the source of security, the sheer pressure of being relevant being in your hand. It's what you carry everywhere. It is your steering wheel. 

And it's in your hand. 

I hope that panics you like the panic I felt heading down the hill on my lawn mower. 

No control. 


And I hope that panic leads you to action. The only thing worse than looking over and seeing your steering wheel in your hand is someone who sees the steering wheel and just enjoys the brief ride down to destruction. 


I hope that you have a moment of realization like I have had this week. God never leaves you where you are. He doesn't just let you keep going down without wake up calls.... 

Don't hit snooze. Don't allow two taps of someone's finger to rank your importance. 

God declares importance. Only God. 

This road leads down... Please, don't be taken down with it!

Jump ship...or..Lawn mower...whatever. 

Give the wheel to the one who created this machine of life.. Whose hands your steering wheel belongs!


Can we all sing it in unison now...? I just find it appropriate. :) 





Mackenzie Wray

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