It has been obvious to my family and friends I have had no desire to learn how to drive our 45-foot motorhome. Traveling and living in it seven months out of a year is enough. To put my stove, refrigerator, shower, and bed on the highway along with motorists and truck drivers I don’t even know, is not my idea of travel. That was my husband’s idea. In the passenger seat, I have tried to ignore the rattle from the furniture and household paraphernalia as we rumbled along the country’s highways.
I’ll admit knowing how to maneuver and manage the motorhome on the road is a smart idea. But learning how to drive it, considering the possible consequences if and when I do something wrong that could be catastrophic is reason enough for my reticence. Why would I want to put myself at such risk? Besides, if I did learn how to drive, I would have to take over the wheel when Dan got tired. Shorter trips are a better idea.
My husband thinks otherwise. “What if something happened along the way and I couldn’t drive?” Dan has asked this question in a variety of ways using different pleading and warning tones during the eight years we have been RV-ing.
“Perhaps you should have thought about that before embarking on an extended camping trip.” I think but don’t say. “That’s why we have emergency insurance, isn’t it?” is what I do say, trying to sound helpless.
There is reason for an attitude check here, and not on Dan’s part.
Hence, the intervention of the Holy Spirit. Until I sat in the driver’s seat of the motorhome I had left supernatural work to the Spirit while I focused on obedience, which has needed supernatural assistance on several occasions. I’ve known from Scripture that the Holy Spirit is real and powerful, speaks through prophets, gives voice to doves, and blazes through rallies with fire without burning a soul. People filled with the Spirit heal, prophecy, and speak in tongues. Their spirituality has been accelerated more than mine, so to speak.
God has seen me through many trials and even more errors, blessing me with unimaginable joys and journeys. A ministry in health and fitness, the births of ten amazing grandchildren, and travel in an RV across the country have been among the most unexpected and appreciated. In spite of my painful battle with RA, struggle to submit to a man with an exuberantly adventurous spirit, and bouts of aforementioned attitude, I have found God to be true to His Name – glorious, merciful, counselor, and patient. But I have wondered if I had the Holy Spirit.
“But when He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will only speak what He hears and will tell you what is to come. He will glorify Me because it is from Me that He will receive what He will make known to you.”(John 16:13-14)
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with wordless groans.”(Romans 8:26)
Recently, I asked my Pastor to pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in my life. Once and for all, I wanted the prayer answered and the faith to believe. Assured by the pastoral request, I was ready to experience the power of the Holy Spirit!
What I learned about the Holy Spirit the Sunday we did not go to church was that He shows up unexpectedly and much differently than we think. He has a mind of His own.
Dan and I travel so much we have not been able to get planted in a church. This has been a source of deep heartache for me, singed with a bit of bitterness about the RV life we lead. Instead of praying in a pew, I had once again found myself praying for church to be wholly satisfying in my chair. As I was praying for the grace to let go of my desires, my husband spoke through the open door to my office.
“Do you want to try driving the motorhome today?” Usually when I heard this reference to the RV I cringed. It is NOT a home; it is a camper on a truck bed. Attitude check again.
“Sure!” I heard myself answer, maybe even with a smile as I tried to imagine church in an RV. This definitely was God’s idea, not mine.
Dan’s face lit up like a Christmas tree. An hour later I found myself sitting behind the wheel of our motorhome, adjusting the seat and pedals.
“Release the brake, turn the key, and put ‘er in drive!”
I wasn’t praying, yet I sensed reassuring phrases whispering from somewhere. Dan must have heard them too because the intensity so normal for him, especially when it came to the RV, was gone. He grinned as I motored around the parking lot and out onto the highway. After the trip of about ten miles, with Dan’s hand-signaled directions, I backed the 45-footer into our slot, like a seasoned truck driver.
That Sunday the Holy Spirit met me in a way I never expected. Flinging my attitude to the cosmos, He accompanied me in the driver’s seat of the motorhome, and gave me an overpowering sense of peace and joy. I knew as I calmly drove our kitchen, bedroom, and bathrooms along with the traffic zooming by me, I was being flooded with freedom. No more fear. No more anger. No more attitude. When I turned off the ignition and pushed down the air brakes, I felt completely released.
“Now the LORD is Spirit and where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is freedom.”(1Corinthians 3:17)
The Holy Spirit is in the work of freedom. Jesus obeyed His Father and trusted Him in everything and He promised to give us this same ability through the indwelling of the Helper (John 14:16, 15:26-27,16:7). With the Spirit, we are released from griping and freed to gaze upon our good good Father. We can do things we never before thought of or wanted. He sure fooled me – He made me the driver of a big rig!