One of my favorite songs almost ever is by Randy Travis (yup, I’m a Puerto Rican version of a “hick” … call me a “browneck”) called “Ants on a Log.” I’ve probably cited it before on this blog, but the lyrics, in part, go …
Ants on a log
Floatin’ down a river
But not gettin’ anywhere
Our steerin’ wheels
Just ain’t connected
And we can’t jump off like flees on a dog
Can’t fly away like flies on a hog
We’re really just along for the ride like ants on a log
Bottom line, we’re not in charge. We think we are. We try to seem like it. We talk about “looking out for numero uno.” Can you think of one thing in life that you 100 percent control? I can’t. Like the song says, “our steering wheels just ain’t connected.” I love that visual … turning a steering wheel actively, aggressively, confidently, when all the while it is not connected. We can steer and steer and steer but there is no effect on the car. Honestly, that’s a lot like life.
Now before you start to argue with me, I understand that there is still an inherent cause and effect aspect to our lives. There are consequences to choices and decisions, but even those in some ways are not totally within our ability to control them. And you can’t refute the bottom line … we’re not in charge. Trust me, you don’t want me in charge of things. I’d mess it up. Frankly, I sure don’t want you in charge either. We just aren’t capable in the way God is. Jesus reminds of us that in a portion of scripture that I read this week as I read through Matthew 27 – 28 and Mark 1-13. Reading in the Message paraphrase, Mark 8:34-37 shares the words of Jesus …
Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?
Jesus says we’re not to look out for “number one,” we’re supposed to look out for the “other one.” He says we can’t depend on ourselves, we need to depend on Him. He says helping ourselves can only result from our dying to ourselves. We can’t control what goes on to us let alone what goes on around us. Our steering wheels ain’t connected. We aren’t “in the driver’s seat.” He is the One driving.
This is a fact, whether or not we choose to accept it. Our choosing not to believe it does not change the validity that He’s in control, He’s driving. We might think we’re driving, but the steering wheel ain’t connected. So much of our pain in life comes from fighting against this reality. We wrestle and wrestle with the truth, but Jesus says, “Don’t try so hard to take care of yourself, I’ll take care of you. In fact I’ll take care of you better than you ever could. Don’t worry so much about setting up your future, I’ve already got your future set.”
One of the best examples of applying this principle that I’ve ever seen is one of my best friends Scott Cubbler, but the reason might not be quite what you might think or even believe. Scott realizes that there are times in life when things go in directions we never would envision or even allow if left to our own devices. God provides situations for His purposes and in His way for reasons we might never know or understand. It’s those moments when we have to recognize that our steering wheels ain’t connected and the best thing to do is simply take our hands off of the wheel and let God drive.
You see, my dear friend of 25 years, Scott Cubbler is a write-in candidate for president of the United States. Yup, the United States of America. No joke. And he has my vote.
Is it likely Scott will be elected? Probably not. Is it possible? Absolutely (brush up on your knowledge of the 12th Amendment of the US Constitution). God has the steering wheel. Scott let go of it long ago, trust me. I believe the reason he’s running, and certainly the reason I support him, is because these days the presidential campaigns are so pervasive and yet so painful to watch. The self-aggrandizement and self-promotion are overwhelming to the point of nausea. Regardless of what side of the political aisle you sit on, can any of us truly be proud of either of the major party candidates? More than ever in our history this election is more of a non-election … that is, I’d bet more people are voting against a candidate rather than for one. Why? Because it seems today few politicians are truly motivated by actual service to others let alone service to God. I don’t mean to offend, just to observe.
With that backdrop, Scott felt called long ago to run for president. He’s a business person, a former Marine combat and public relations officer, a former counterterrorism leader for the state of New York, and a current protective security advisor for the US Department of Homeland Security. All of this he pursued with hands off the steering wheel, allowing God to drive, even into incredible and perhaps perilous territory. Let’s face it, running for president is … well … crazy. But not to God, and that’s something Scott understands well and a principle to which he’s subscribed all his adult life. I can attest personally.
God is in the business of doing the impossible, the improbable, the unbelievable. My dear friend Scott Cubbler long ago chose to let God lead, to let him drive, to follow Him regardless of what that means … to realize that Scott’s steering wheel wasn’t (and ain’t) connected. In this presidential election despite what the media want us to believe we are not stuck with the two major party contenders, neither of whom seem to have a modicum of morality, ethics, temperament or frankly humility and experience to lead our country out of the sad state of affairs we currently find ourselves in. We’re less prosperous, less safe, less united … less “in God we trust,” than at any other time in our history. The “none of the above” situation we’re in demands we realize we don’t have to choose only between the two unsavory choices we have. Our constitution allows another way, and perhaps it’s the way God intended it to be, not just for Scott but for you and me. I invite you to see Scott’s web site (to learn why he feels led onto this course at this time) and watch and share his videos and like his YouTube channel.
My prayer for you and me (and Scott) is that we continue not only to realize that our steering wheels ain’t connected, but to embrace the freedom that comes from letting go of the wheel and letting God drive our every journey. After all, His is the only steering wheel that is connected!
Soli Deo gloria!