Who's Driving The School Bus, Anyway?
- Monday, September 24, 2007
Perched up high in our beloved 11-passenger van, I sat with eyes shut tight, one hand gripping the side of my seat, the other reaching frantically for the nonexistent bar above my window. "Please don't drive so close to the edge!" I cried out to my husband, who, in fact, seemed oblivious to any danger on the two-way highway. Just when I started to relax, I saw the red taillights of the vehicle in front of us. I cringed as we drew closer to the other car's bumper before stopping abruptly. "Why do you have to get so close and wait so long to stop?" I wailed as I pulled my sweater up over my head.
I was not really asking for the reasons why; I was merely signifying that he must have temporarily lost his head and forgotten the rules of the road. My husband patiently explained that the car ahead should have started moving sooner and that he was just hoping not to waste the van's energy by stopping sooner than necessary. I wasn't laughing.
My stomach finally started to relax its churning when I noticed that we were not taking the route that was familiar. "Shouldn't you be turning here?" I submissively suggested. No. Not today. We were taking the scenic route. And it is usually very scenic.
With all my commenting about his driving, it's a wonder that my husband makes it to work and back every day without me!
Just why are men so aggressive when it comes to driving? All the books on men tell us that it is because they are born to lead and made to race. Well, okay, but not when I am in the car, please. I think the better question here would be just why is it that I think my husband must drive like I do or else he is not driving the right way?
The physical example of trying to "drive" our husbands finds its way into our homes and homeschools as well, doesn't it? Do you find yourself questioning your husband's leadership abilities? Do you think he has forgotten to look ahead, or forgotten to look behind, or maybe even forgotten the direction you're supposed to be going?
I have too, from time to time, and in my arrogance, I've let him know a thing or two about how much help I could use and have questioned why he doesn't see the needs as clearly as I do. I have wondered (loudly) if he will ever take over some of the schooling responsibilities or at least care enough to look at what I'm trying to do with the kids. What a putrid attitude and how despicable in the eyes of God! So just what is valuable in the sight of God?
"Whose adorning let it not be that outward … But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price" (1 Peter 3:3-4).
In learning gentleness and quietness, I have also found much more peace. I am learning to hold on for the ride and trust the Lord to arrive at the end of the journey safely.
So how am I learning these things? Usually the hard way. In looking back, I see that I haven't always honored my husband's plans; rather, I have labored under the false assumption that he hasn't always helped me with my plans. Let me explain.
Over the years, the principal of this school has specifically asked that I make a few things happen. Many times I didn't really want to hear what he had to say—my pride causes me to be secretly upset that he thinks anything needs changing at all. I just wanted him to see my agenda and agree with it. Poor, foolish teacher.
"Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord and depart from evil" (Proverbs 3:7).
Let me get transparent and demonstrate where I have failed and where I have triumphed in allowing my husband to drive this school bus.
The principal believed it was really important to make sure that math assignments were graded regularly. Can you believe that? On top of all the bazillion other things I had to do? Couldn't hubby just do that one thing? Looking back, I realize how wrong my attitude was compared to what the Lord desired in me. And, looking back, if I had stayed on top of grading the math lessons (which I didn't), at least one of my children wouldn't have strayed so badly in his math progress. My child has had to pay the price for my lack of respect in honoring the desires of my authority. An even higher price to pay has been re-teaching him to respect my authority when he didn't see me respecting my own authority. Ouch.
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