Saturday, February 01, 2014

Are You Driven or Being Led?

When our son was small he used to get so excited whenever the cartoon programme Road Runner was on TV. I must confess that I loved it too - all that mad dashing around by the tragic character of Coyote (left) who was constantly trying to figure out ways to entrap and possibly cook and eat the serene escapee Road Runner with his familiar call 'Beep Beep!' The shows were produced by Warner Brothers between 1948 and 1960 but were then carried by TV stations for years afterwards both in the UK and the US. Poor old Coyote used to get so upset and even poured out great drops of sweat as he laboured on his latest idea usually assisted by props made by some company called ACME, but he always failed and usually got killed in the attempt - only to rise again miraculously to have another go next week!

Meanwhile the frustratingly smug road runner appeared to sail effortlessly through life chanting his call and overcoming every scheme of the wicked one! As I reflect on my life I can identify so much more with the scheming, worrying, driven Coyote than I can with the untroubled bird that floated over all of life's obstructions.  Most of my days - and nights - have been consumed with working out new strategies to succeed in my mission, whatever it has been at different times. Sometimes it has been to lead a struggling church into growth, or to serve a large and busy fellowship as it's senior leader.  At other times the struggle has been to learn a new language and fit into a new culture so as to serve alongside a national group of churches overseas.  And still other challenges have had to with fighting pain and discouragement, like now, in my long war with serious ill health. But in every situation I have had to learn to be led and not driven.  Being led by the Spirit of God is what children of God are supposed to experience (Romans 8:14) and not being driven by inner needs or the expectations of others.

Coyote never found the key to being led and was driven to despair. I want to be led by the sweet Spirit of God, not driven by ambition, the needs of my body or selfish desires, or the demands of others around me. 'Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, for there are many enemies'.