Let The Holy Spirit Drive You

Are You A Control Freak?


My oldest niece, Kelsey, is now 15-1/2 years old, so you know what that means?

She has gotten her temps.

She is driving now, and the only one that has not taken her out so far is her Uncle Mike. (I think it was because I was always the wild one in the family.) When kids are learning to drive, I love to ask them about their parents. I love to ask them which parent is better to drive with – which parent is more patient in the passenger seat. The kids will always honestly tell me.

I think it is good for us to realize that, too. As we enter into the season of Lent, we hear in the Gospel that the Holy Spirit drove Jesus into the desert. So, think about that. The Holy Spirit was the one driving, and Jesus went along for the ride.

What is it like for you to be in the passenger seat?

What is it like for you to not be in control of where you are going?

I imagine for some of us it is a very panicky feeling, and maybe we try to constantly control or direct the driver – or even become a backseat driver by yelling commands. But, we are called to do just what Christ did this season of Lent. We are called to allow the Holy Spirit to drive us into the desert.

Now, here is the thing about going into the desert . . . here is what we need to know about the Holy Spirit. When you go into the desert, you are going to experience wild beasts. This means that you are going to experience things that are beyond your control. And, during Lent, if we enter into the reality of our sinfulness, we go to the places of our lives that are beyond our control and often terrify us. But, the other promise is that the angels will also minister to us.

So, I just want you to think about this Lenten season.

Ready or not, this is the first Sunday of Lent and we are all being driven into the desert. What is it like for you to let go of control?

Maybe there is an area in your life right now that you just feel God is nudging you into. Maybe you are not ready for it. Maybe it is some suffering, some difficulty, or a sin you know you have to face. Allow him to drive. Just like my niece, Kelsey, who is now learning which of her parents is a little more patient and who can let her take the steering wheel.

We are called, too, to be in the passenger seat and to let go of control. We have to let go of being the one driving, giving the commands, and giving the directions. Ultimately, we have to allow the Holy Spirit to drive us.

So, think about the area in your life that you are just being pushed into. Maybe you are not ready for it but will try to trust that the Holy Spirit is driving.

Remember that you are Christ in the world today, and the angels will minister to you.

Ready or not . . . Lent is here. Are you able to let go of control and be driven by the Holy Spirit?

Image Credit: Justin LaBerge

About the Author Fr. Michael Denk

Fr. Michael was ordained into priesthood in the Diocese of Cleveland on May 12, 2007. He is dedicated to helping others encounter Christ through the celebration of the Eucharist, preaching, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, spiritual direction, and prayer.

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I'm Father Michael J. Denk, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. I am a contributor of content to The Prodigal Father Productions, Inc., a non-profit corporation functioning in accord with the traditions and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The corporation and I are separate, it doesn't speak for me, the parish, or on behalf of the Diocese of Cleveland, and I do not speak for it.