My first car was a red 1991 Ford Probe with a V6 engine and great speakers. I loved that car, and we shared many adventures through my teenage years and graduate school. I even named the car Le Petite Rouge (“little red”), but I mostly called her Little Rouge. Unfortunately cars do not live forever, and I was forced to let go of Little Rouge, but only after she taught me a few life lessons.
One day Little Rouge and I were driving an out of town visitor around Atlanta. I wanted to show my college friend a good time in my new town, and boy did that ever happen! As we were cruising down Cobb Parkway chattering about something, I realized that my brakes were not working. We were driving downhill and approaching a busy intersection just as the light turned red. Turning to my friend, I calmly informed her that the brakes were not braking and I was not sure if I could avoid an accident. In complete peace she simply stated, “ok.”
After turning on my hazard lights, I laid on my horn and weaved through traffic coming from all directions. I am certain that people in the other cars thought I was crazy. Thankfully Cobb Parkway goes up hills too! We started to slow down, and I was able to maneuver my car into a nearby parking lot as I jammed the car into park. Shortly after we parked, my Haitian mechanic friend showed up to take a look at Little Rouge. In bewilderment he looked at me and asked in his French accent, “Why did you not use your emergency brake?”
Why hadn’t I used my emergency brake? At that point in my life, I honestly thought that the emergency brake was only there to stop your parked car from rolling down a hill. I had no answer to his question. As I watched my mechanic friend whip the car around the parking lot just using the emergency brake, I marveled at its usefulness.
How many times in life have we forgotten to us our emergency brakes? What is the emergency brake in our spiritual lives? Is it the Holy Spirit? Scripture? Something else? My guess is that when life is out of control and we are moving away from who God created us to be, He will be faithful to provide us with an emergency brake of some sort. Our responsibility is to be aware that the emergency brake is there and to have the courage to use it.
Over the last year, I have entered into a discipleship relationship with a dear friend. We meet monthly to share how God is working in us, to encourage each other, and to confess any sins that we struggle with. In between meetings, we have committed to be available to one another in times of crisis or to confess something that is weighing us down. In essence, we have become emergency brakes for each other.
Too often my pride prevents me from using this friend as an emergency brake. And there are even times I will forget she is there to support me. As life spirals out of control, I do whatever I can to regain my version of control. In these moments, I struggle to seek God and I rarely call on my discipleship partner. Regrettably, my version of control does not always draw me closer to the Father. In isolation I find that I grow in the wrong direction and look less like the woman I was created to be. However, when I connect to my community and allow myself to be a disciple of Jesus, transformation begins.
True discipleship is about being transformed into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18, NIV) and becoming one with Him, just as He sought to become one with the Father (John 17:11). Jesus modeled discipleship for us by spending time with the Father (Mark 1:35) and by having disciples that He shared life with. Many of us try to live life under our own power without help from anyone. Yet in Ephesians 5:21 (KJV), Paul teaches us to, “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” None of us are perfect, and more than likely we will need help from God and each other to be transformed into the likeness of Christ. That is where the emergency brake comes in!
While the Holy Spirit is our ultimate emergency brake, I have found that Jesus will also provide others to help us when we are in times of crisis and growth. He may provide you with a mentor, a friend, a pastor, a sponsor, or even a counselor. God will use many different vessels to help the willing be transformed into His likeness. If there are parts of your life that feel out of control or areas that do not reflect Jesus, I would encourage you to pray. Ask Him to show you how to use the emergency brakes that He has made available to you. Jesus is always faithful to provide for our needs.
Meet our Guest Contributor:
Tracy Busse is a licensed professional counselor, teacher, speaker, and writer. She is passionate about helping others find healing, hope and restoration. You can learn more about Tracy at tracybusse.com or you can go directly to her blog at tracybusse.wordpress.com Photo provided by ccfamilypromise.org