Letting God Drive - Stephanie Rautio

When I was a little girl we lived in Eastern Oregon and part of our family lived in Idaho. Our holidays were made up of many road trips, usually in our Ford Granada. These were very long tips to a little girl but we had fun. My seat was behind my Dad and my sister’s was behind my Mom. We literally went over the river and through the woods to get to Grandma’s house. We would sing songs together, listen to tapes of people like Amy Grant, we would play games, I would ask a million question until I was told that it was enough.

My favorite was going over the Blue Mountains…they were so pretty. Then I would look around every corner waiting for us to drive into Emmett and see the trailer with the Emmett Huskies on it. This meant we were only a block away from pulling up to Grandma’s house and the call would go out to the rest of the family. “James is here” and they would all drive over from their homes. It was so loud and so wonderful. We made it and the holidays could begin.

One year we made this trip for Thanksgiving and because we were bringing a washer and dryer to my Aunt’s house, the appliances and our dog, Ginger, rode in the back….much to mine and my sister's dismay.

I remember spending the trip worrying that she was going to get squished by the washer. It was safe, but I was young and worried a lot. My spot on the bench seat in the pickup was next to my Dad who was driving, but I had to remember to keep my hands away from the wheel. I loved riding in the pickup because I could see everything along the journey to Grandma’s.

At one point Dad started to get kind of panicked which woke my Mom and sister up. We started going faster and faster while going over the Blues and he couldn’t get the truck to slow down. Suddenly I hear “Stephanie! Move your foot." My leg had relaxed and was resting on part of the gas peddle making the pick up go faster and appear to have a problem. We (actually Dad) quickly decided on a safe place for my feet to always be so that even if I fell asleep my feet would never be on the gas peddle again.

Now this story is a funny memory for my family, but in the moment it was so scary. My Dad was quick and kept us all safe and made sure that our journey continued and we all, including the dog made it to Grandma’s safely so we could have a wonderful Idaho greeting and holiday with the family.

I’ve been thinking a lot about God, our heavenly father’s love for us. My Dad loved me throughout this and other mistakes that I have made in my life. He quickly, and as gently as possible, corrected me. God is always with us on this journey of life doing the same thing.

There are times that I have grown impatient with unanswered prayers or God’s plan not happening in my timing or the way I think it should go. At times as God was leading (driving the pickup), I have found my foot slip onto the gas peddle attempting to slowly take control and get us to go faster.

I’ve learned over the years, through relationship, that I could trust my Dad to get my family to our destination. In the same way I work on maintaining my relationship with God. I do this through having a daily rhythm of reading the word and prayer with God the Father so I trust him to help me get safely through this journey of life. I still make mistakes, forget and try to take over, but I have come a long way with trusting and waiting.

Like most relationships, this has taken time, years and dedication. Reading the word for myself, listing to messages in Church, studying with small groups, praying and asking for understanding.

Psalm 25:5, "Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For you I wait all the day."
Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."

Stephanie Rautio
Office Administrator | Hope City Church