Pause for Thought by Ray Dadswell: Who’s in charge?

“Will you shut up. I’m driving!” That’s all I heard, but it was enough to set me thinking.

A few years ago, we were taking a short break just along the coast, not far from Bournemouth, as we have done again recently. A pause for coffee on the previous occasion before taking a walk on Hengistbury Head was the statutory requirement at that particular hour in the morning.

The overheard comment came from an adult son pushing his elderly mother in her wheelchair. The tone was humour rather than impatience, I am glad to say.

What he meant, I guess, was that all mum had to do was to sit tight and relax, because he was totally in control and he knew what he was doing. She didn’t have to be anxious, therefore, as he would negotiate the slopes, the obstacles and the unlevel ground. It was his responsibility.

I committed my life to God many years ago, with the express purpose of allowing him to direct me according to his perfect plan.

Travels with my family have led me to live and work abroad for more than a decade as well as taking on employment here at home. There have been worries and disappointments of course, just like for anybody else, but balanced out by the joys and encouragements, not least in knowing that I am secure in God’s care.

It is as if I am able to sit back and be free from effort and struggle to get to where I want to be. There’s no need for fear if I experience a jolt or sudden movement because he is steering.

At this moment in time, we are doubtless troubled once more by news of domestic and international unrest, and we can easily forget who is in charge of all that is going on. We do ourselves a service, though, when we remember the words of the old spiritual: ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands; he’s got you and me ...’

+ Ray Dadswell worked in Thailand through the 70s and early 80s, and, since return to Eastbourne, has continued in Christian work and teaching in the town and at the University of Sussex.