This morning, I saw a thingy that said, “Is God your steering wheel or your spare tire?” That question kind of bothered me, I think mainly because I’ve had so many car problems lately that the idea of putting any trust in either steering wheels or spare tires is pretty scary. I understand what the question is asking, and maybe I’m carrying the metaphor a lot farther than the question intended, but I still didn’t like it. So I found a pen and a blank page in a notebook and copied the question, and underneath it I wrote, “Neither. God is the driver. And I am the passenger who sits there doing nothing and maybe even dozing off, but who can still have complete confidence that I will arrive safely at the destination.” In retrospect, I like my answer.

During church this morning, I had a killer headache and a distracting buzzing in my brain, and I admit that I wasn’t as focused on the service as I should have been. I also admit that this wasn’t exactly the first time ever in my entire life that I was in some way distracted during church. But the thing is, it didn’t really matter that much, because I was there where God’s Word is, and the point of church is God’s Word, not my brain. Maybe I couldn’t think clearly this morning, but I could still get something out of being in an environment where phrases like “forgiveness of sins” and “gifts of God” and “salvation through Christ” surrounded me and seeped into my brain through my ears, even if my mind didn’t really feel like doing anything with them at the moment.

‘Tis good to be Lutheran. ‘Tis good to be Christian. ‘Tis good to know that salvation comes by grace through faith, and this is not my own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works. (paraphrase of Ephesians 2:8-9)