Why Won’t Anyone Sit in the Back of the Minivan?

The middle seat in our minivan is prime vehicular real estate.

My daughters make mad dashes to the minivan in order to hop in that prize seat first.  No one, after all, wants to sit in the back.

And, nothing gets these girls ready to rumble like one sister hogging middle seat privileges.  They have some sort of tracking sense, a radar for what’s “fair” or “unfair.”

Their memory tangles up with rhetoric.  I don’t think they really keep accurate records of seating assignments every time we drive in the minivan, but somehow they sound like they are testifying in a court of law:

“I have not gotten to ride in the middle seat for one whole week!  You have had 6 turns more than me and now you cannot sit in the middle seat again until I have gotten to sit there 6 times.”

There are tears and the occasional meltdown.  Sister pits herself against sister.  They take sides and form alliances to gang up on the offending sibling and rain down minivan justice.

Let’s be honest.  It’s a whole ugly mess sometimes.

And maybe the ugly comes out in us some days, too, as we fearfully try to scramble into the ‘best place’ or grab our own chance at God’s favor and blessing.

I’m not exactly sure how Abraham did it, but I want to learn from him how to stop fretting over my position and start rejoicing in my relationship with Christ.

He and his nephew Lot stood high enough to overlook the land.  Their employees had been fighting.  Abraham and Lot were both too wealthy to travel together any longer.  They needed separate space and well-defined territory.

So, there they stood, preparing to divvy it all up:  “This is mine.  That is yours.”

Abraham let Lot choose first.

Maybe I’d be a mess of worries and desperation in that moment, wanting to protect my blessing, hope, and future.  I’d probably be praying under my breath: “Please don’t choose the best spot.  Please don’t choose the best spot.”

Or, at the most, I’d offer to flip a coin to make the whole process more fair.

But Abraham trusted.

Abraham knew that nothing Lot did in that moment could hinder, interrupt or destroy God’s perfect plan for his life.

He didn’t have to push or shove his way to the front of any line.  He didn’t have to fight or rumble in order to stake out prime territory.  He didn’t grab for the ‘biggest slice of the pie’ or scramble ahead of everyone to try to ‘get the best seat.’

Maybe we’re worried about that sometimes.  We see the blessings of God as if there’s a limited supply.  If He blesses her, then that leaves less blessing for me.

      Few things rip a friendship to shreds like an undercurrent of envy.

Or maybe this world seems like such a noisy place and social media has only turned up the volume.  Sometimes it feels like we need to shout in order to be heard.

But I want to be Abraham.

I want to trust God enough not to fret or worry over territorial choices or the fear that someone will end up with a better plot of land or a greater blessing.

I want to be able to extend my hand and say, “You first…..”

I want to stop pushing and striving to get ahead and simply trust God to take me where He wants me to go.

Lot chose the best looking land, of course.  He snatched up the prime real estate in a selfish effort to look out for himself.

He couldn’t see the corruption and enmity and culture of sin that ruled the land he was choosing: Sodom and Gomorrah.

     Sometimes, the blessing we’re so sure we want is the worst possible future God could give us.  

     He sees.  He knows.  He loves us.  Sometimes loving us means telling us “no” in the moment.

We can trust Him.

Instead, the Psalmist said,

He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me (Psalm 18:19 NIV).

When we trust Him, He delights in us indeed.

When we choose humility over pride, He sees and takes joy.

And our friendships with others give us the opportunity to celebrate genuinely at another’s success.

He will bring us to that spacious place, and it will be perfect, just right, hand-picked and God-designed for you.

To read more devotions by Heather King, you can visit her blog here: http://heathercking.org/

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