I had a strange experience earlier today. I was looking out the window at a row of wide-open yellow blooms on a cactus in our front yard, thinking about how they’d opened up in the sunshine, when the words “Stay in your lane!” popped into my head.
The tone of the words wasn’t scolding. It felt more like a reminder. I didn’t need to spend any time puzzling over what that “Stay in your lane!” was supposed to mean. With the words came the explanation. When the words came into my mind, while my eyes rested on those yellow blooms in the sunshine, I sensed the meaning: God’s doing so much more than you can even begin to imagine, and you are not the one who needs to figure everything out, plan everything out, or even wait everything out. That’s God’s lane, not mine.
“Stay in your lane!” meant “Live your life. Take responsibility for your life, your relationships, and your work. But remember: God has the God’s-eye view. God, who made these cacti and brought out their blooms, has his creating and redeeming eye on all this world. God’s “got the whole world in his hands,” as we used to sing.
The world weighs on us all these days. And it’s good and right that we should feel connected to all the world, care about all the world, and pray for all the world. But it’s also good and right that we then allow God to remain in charge and lift the weight from our shoulders. It’s good and right that we care about the near- and long-term future, pray about that in the midst of uncertainty, and then remind ourselves that, whatever the future holds, it’s God future, so, ultimately, it’s going to be OK.
We are called to do what we can and not what we can’t. We are invited to stay in our lanes and to recognize how distinctly limited is our perspective and how much greater is God’s. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8).
May you find, in prayer, strength to do the things you can do and peace about the things you can’t … and about all the world-full of things over which you have no control.
And may you feel God’s steady presence with you in your lane.