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Telling God What To Do

February 22, 2018

 

I have another World's Fair memory.  One of the attractions at the fair was the Sinclair Oil Dinoland.  As Sinclair Oil's webpage describes it:

 

"For its 1964-65 New York World's Fair exhibit, Sinclair recreated the Mesozoic Era with nine life-size fiberglass dinosaurs featuring cutting-edge animatronics.

 

"It took an entire team of paleontologists, engineers and robotics experts three years to build the beasts.

 

"Designed by world-renowned wildlife sculptor Louis Paul Jonas.  Based on the work of Dr. Barnum Brown, of the American Museum of Natural History, and Dr. John H. Ostrom, of Yale University's Peabody Museum of Natural History.

 

"The dinosaurs traveled by barge 125 miles down the Hudson River to the Dinoland Pavilion at the fair, where approximately 10 million visitors saw them."  (Go here and see the video of the attraction.)

 

Dinoland was exciting to me - dinosaurs are fascinating to kids all over.  There was a machine that would make a figurine of a brontosaurus (the symbol of Sinclair Oil) for, I think, $2.  You stood there while the attendant would make your bronto for you - it took a few minutes.  I really wanted one of those things, but my dad started moving me on in a hurry - "We don't have time for this!  Get going!"  I thought this was just another exercise in Belgian Waffles, and got pretty mad.  But there was no protesting - I thought he was just being a tightwad and wouldn't spring $2 for a brontosaurus so desperately needed by me.  Dad had already purchased a really neat souvenir - a working miniature replica of the Uniroyal ferris wheel we had ridden, a giant tire with the gondolas holding the people going around, up and down, in the middle.  We got to see the whole fair when we would go around to the top.  This was a really cool souvenir, so missing a dino really wasn't that big a deal except to me, because I really needed a brontosaurus which was made before my eyes.  

 

But the truth is, understanding now as an adult, that we had to move on to catch our bus.  Dad had planned this trip with us staying in New Jersey with some old friends of his, saving any lodging and food expenses for the trip to take our family of five to the fair.  We had caught a bus from NJ to the fair.  That meant we could skip the driving and the parking frustrations and just pay for the entrance fees and meals at the fair, along with any souvenirs we would want.  We had a schedule to keep to catch our bus back to NJ and we were coming down to the wire, so we had to move swiftly so as not to be late.  

 

I couldn't see the bigger plan.  I had my own plan.  And my plan didn't fit the scope of the larger plan.

 

Our lives get caught up so much into our "I wants" that we start dictating our plans to God.  God loves us too much to give in to our plans when His plans are for our good and go beyond the scope of our understanding.  Jeremiah 29:11 says  "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  We have a limited frame of reference; God sees the big picture and loves us so much He refuses sometimes to give us our way.  I know what I want; God doesn't ignore that, but pushes for my needs.  When dads and moms do this, they are engaged in healthy parenting.  God is the healthiest - the perfect - Father.

 

Of course, I would like to have that brontosaurus now, since I broke the ferris wheel carelessly later on.  It would look cool with all my other junk.  But my father knew it was better to get safe and sound to our NJ friends' house by getting on our bus on time.  Our perfect Father knows it is better to safely navigate life with His guidance through the treacherous waves of life.  And when we yield to Him and trust Him in this, we arrive safely 

Home.

 

A song from my old Jesus Movement days by the Christian band "Love Song," "Front Seat/Back Seat" says this:

 

I was a 'runnin' from my Master

And I tried out every new thing I could find

But my life turned into one disaster

Without the Lord I almost blew my mind

 

I was sittin' in the front seat

Tryin' really hard to be the driver

Thinkin' I was makin' real good time

But always windin' up the late arriver

But now I been tryin' out the back seat

And I find it is a very great relief

Now I'm ridin' in the back seat

And I'm leavin' all the drivin' to the chief

 

I went barrelin' out full speed ahead

I went a 'runnin' every stop sign that I'd see

Thinkin' I'd give the Lord a shortcut

But I found out He don't need no help from me

 

I was sittin' in the front seat

Tryin' really hard to be the driver

Thinkin' I was makin' real good time

But always windin' up the late arriver

But now I been tryin' out the back seat

And I find it is a very great relief

Now I'm ridin' in the back seat

And I'm leavin' all the drivin' to the chief

 

(Ton Coomes-Chuck Girard - ©1971 Dunamis Music)

 

That's an oldie but a goodie.  Sit in the back seat and enjoy the scenery.  Let God take the wheel.

 

Blessings from here to eternity,

 

 

Pastor Drew

 

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