By Carol Brown
published in Family Matters eNewsletter, August 11, 2016
I recently took a long, adventure-filled road trip with my grown-up sons. Burgess and I drove from Macon to New York City to settle him into an apartment in preparation for graduate school at the end of August. Hudson met us in NYC and drove with me through Washington, DC, to pick up his college belongings, and on to Macon, where he’ll spend a few weeks of post-graduation relaxing.
The trip was tiring, but I wouldn’t trade those days on the road for anything in the world. I was allowed the rare opportunity to spend 15 hours of one-on-one time with each of my sons – they were stuck in a car with nothing to do but talk with their mom! And I learned a few things from the experience.
I learned that living simply is a good thing when your bedroom is only 9 feet by 7 feet (less is more!); I learned that getting rid of a full-size mattress in Washington, DC, is a difficult and timeconsuming task; I learned that both of my sons have good friends who are ready to help them out at the drop of a hat; and I learned that being the mother of adult sons means letting them take charge and being okay with that.
I quickly learned that both Burgess and Hudson have much more city driving experience than I do. I turned over the wheel to Burgess as we approached the New Jersey turnpike and let him safely lead us through the Holland Tunnel, the crowded streets of Lower Manhattan, and the maze of Chinatown. He drove with confidence, telling me that in NYC you have to drive aggressively and not worry about the feelings of the other drivers. And honking the horn is just a normal way to communicate. I was glad to sit back and let Burgess take charge. I was okay with not being the one to navigate the streets and attempt to “drive aggressively.” But it did occur to me that, at least in this experience, our roles were reversed. As the mom, I am used to giving instructions and being in charge. I used to set the rules and make the decisions. Now it’s time for me to sit back and watch them take charge of their own lives. And I’m okay with that… most of the time.
Learning to sit back and let my sons take charge reminds me that God asks us to do the same thing in our spiritual lives. God has much more experience than we do in navigating the difficult twists and turns of our lives’ journeys. God asks us to release the tight hold we have on planning the details of our lives so that God can take charge. God promises us that he has a vision for our lives and God has good things in store for us. And I’m okay with that.