If your life is the slightest bit like mine, you spend a good amount of time driving from place to place on a daily basis. We drive kids to school and sports; we drive to work, church, stores, and events. If I am honest, I spend more time driving than I do spending time alone with God at home. And for whatever reason (maybe because we live such hurried lives), the task of driving and sharing the road with other drivers has the potential to turn the gentlest, kindest Christian into the angriest, most frustrated heathen. Ashamedly, I am someone who has spent sweet time in worship only to find myself, moments later, driving impatiently and judgmentally, with a strong sense of road entitlement. We worship and draw near to God in our churches and in our homes; but what if we turned our actual modes of transportation, our vehicles, into worship centers? God has been gently course correcting me and has been showing me that even my car should be an intentional place of worship.
I like how The Message paraphrase of Romans 12:1 puts it—that even our “going-to-work,” our traveling, should be an act of worship, an offering to God. The Israelites traveled with their worship center, the tabernacle, and Moses encouraged the Israelites to continually engage in worshipful family talk as they traveled. They were instructed to talk to each other about God’s goodness wherever they would go and as they were going.
“Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your dashboards and on your steering wheels …” (Deuteronomy 11:19–20, my paraphrase).
What if every time we got into our mobile worship centers, our vehicles, we drove as if it were our ministry? It has not been easy, but I have been attempting this. Often I drive alone and will drive in silence as I listen to God, but some of my best times of driving (now ministering and worshipping) have been with my family. As the worship leader and pastor of my mobile ministry (haha), I encourage my full-capacity congregation of five to intentionally look for people to pray for. We worship the Lord with singing, and we take advantage of our close proximity to each other and engage in meaningful conversation. I also teach them about God while we drive.
Rather than being a typical defensive driver, I aim to be a humble road servant who is willing to sacrifice for others, yield, brake, slow down, kindly let people change lanes in front of me, gladly give up my parking space, or even pull over and stop to help someone. I seek to drive with a greater purpose than simply traveling from place to place as quickly as possible. I look for opportunities to minister the love of Jesus to others on the road, and I teach my children to do the same. By ministering like Jesus, even by the way we drive in and out of our neighborhoods, we allow for the opportunity to share the gospel with others. I’m trying hard to travel in such a way that if I were to park next to someone who had been watching me drive, that person would want to listen to what I have to say.
As we seek to live Spirit-filled lives, we must be willing to ask ourselves if we drive with the fruit of the Spirit engaged. Do I drive with love? Do I drive with joy? Do I drive with peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? As challenging as it is, let’s live lives of sacrificial worship even while driving and allow our Navigator, our GPS, the Holy Spirit, to correct our course when we steer off in the wrong spiritual direction.