Life can be compared to a passenger van. As we go through life, or in this example, travel down the road of life, we make many stops along the way. When we make these stops we acquire passengers that come along for the ride. With these passengers they not only determine the quality of ride but also the destination. These passengers could also be called habits, addictions and influences.
In some cases, one of these “passengers” might even completely hijack the van and the ride. We can end up at the mercy of someone/something that was only intended to be a passenger. As they bring us farther down the road, they drive faster than we would like and most often take us places we would have never gone before we gave them control.
When we accept Christ into our lives, at that very moment, He becomes the driver of our van of life. Even though Jesus is now in the driver’s seat, there are still people/things in the van with us that can negatively influence us such as our addictions, habits, lifestyle and friends. Most of the time, it is up to us to make the choice for them to get out.
As we continue on the road of life with our new driver Jesus, we have to make a stop. Up until this point, the passengers in the back haven’t made a sound. They’re not sure what will happen next with Jesus at the wheel so they keep quiet. They don’t want to be removed so they try to become invisible.
While we get out to stretch our legs everything seems to be going great. Jesus is now in control and we’re on the right road, going in the right direction. But as this stop comes to an end something changes. We get in the driver’s seat and move Jesus over the passenger seat. Now it’s just like the bumper sticker “Jesus is my co-pilot”.
While it seems like a great idea, it’s not. Now the place Jesus wants to take us is subject to us. Now we have taken control away from Jesus and once again we’re driving. As the trip goes on, as life goes by, Jesus is moved farther back in the van. Now in order to guide and give direction, Jesus must try to speak louder than everything and everyone else in the van. Most of the time, Jesus is drowned out by all the commotion of the other passengers and the radio. Have you ever been in the backseat of a van and tried to talk to the driver? Even if everyone is quiet and the radio off, it is tough.
Then it happens. We make a stop like we did so many times before. As we’re getting in the van, we seem to have picked up another passenger and this time, someone is going to get left behind. Like kids fighting for the best seat, everyone that can fit is in and we’re off down the road. Here stands Jesus at the curb of our last stop. We were so distracted by the influences and friends that we didn’t even notice that Jesus was no longer with us. We had left Him.
Now as we travel down life’s road without Jesus, we find ourselves stranded on this dark and creepy back road broken down. We turn to ask Jesus how we ended up in this situation only to find He’s nowhere in the van. As everyone piles out scattering like ants, we search the van in hopes of finding Him. Before long we’re standing there broken and alone. Everyone else has left. We were so caught up in all the fun we were having with everyone else in the van that we neglected to see if Jesus was even still with us.
Something we forget that Jesus will not force His way into our lives. He will also not fight to stay. That is a choice we must make on our own. The only way it works is if He is driving, if He is in control. We must get rid of everyone else in the van; we must get rid of everything and everyone that isn’t content with Jesus being the driver. Everything and everyone that isn’t ok with Jesus being the leader of the group. If we don’t, the influence of the others will have a negative impact on our destination.
Who is driving your van of life? Who are the passengers in this van?