Are You The Driver Or The Passenger? 

low angle photography of brown wooden dock at golden house

From the desk of Kelsey Buell, 

Something is not getting done….at what point to you become the “driver” of your life instead of the “passenger”?

Last weekend, we decided to put in our dock ourselves out at the lake.

wooden dock
Photo by Rafa De on

And by “we,” I mean my dad and my husband did it…and they did it with a smile! My dad didn’t even wear a wetsuit in the 50 degree water, and my husband Patrick and him even swam some parts of the dock underwater.

I was very impressed with their handy work. It was truly amazing.

Why is it a big deal you may ask?

Putting in the dock is a task that we have always hired out because of its intensity and how challenging it is to put in. 

The lake home is up on a hill. So the dock sits vertically against the side of the hill. We have to cut the ropes that tie the dock to the bushes and trees on the side of the hill, and let the dock slide into the water.

This process can be quite dangerous, not to mention that once it is in the water, you have to tug and push it into the right positioning. Also, when you are doing this in freezing cold water, your feet can go numb causing it to be much more dangerous. You could easily role an ankle.

So why did we decide to go ahead and put the dock in, if our dock guy was still planning on coming to put it in in a couple of weeks?

The individual we hired to put in our dock is unreliable and difficult to communicate with. They unfortunately wouldn’t give us a good timeline of when to expect the dock in.

person showing both feet wearing brown sandals
Photo by Anne Agrubio on

With my parents visiting and the nice warm weather we were having, we weighed out the pros and cons of our circumstances and decided it was time to take charge!

Having the dock and lift in meant we could enjoy the warm, sunny day on our boat. After months and months of such frigid weather, it was time!

Last summer we waited until the end of June. We didn’t want to do that again.

We just couldn’t stand the thought of waiting that long this summer, so we went for it.

So the question we would like to pose is, at what point do you decide to take matters into your own hands?

We could have just been the “passengers” along for the ride, and waited to see when they would come put in our dock.

Instead, we decided to take charge and do it ourselves and become the “driver” of our own situation.

In life, it’s sometimes difficult to decide when it’s time to take matters into your own hands.

Taking charge of a situation is a crucial skill when faced with a challenge or opportunity.

Here are some tips for how to step up and make this decision:

  1. Assess the situation: Take a step back and evaluate your circumstance logically. How complex and important is the impact of the situation? If there’s a clear need for action and no one else is taking charge, it may be a sign you should step up.
  2. Realize your expertise: If you possess relevant knowledge, skills, or experience that might be applicable to the situation on hand, it may be time to initiate and guide the situation.
  3. Trust your intuition: Sometimes you may have a gut feeling that it’s time to take charge of the situation. If you genuinely believe you can make a positive impact, take action!
  4. Evaluate the impact of inaction: If no one takes charge, what is the negative consequence?
  5. Consider the potential risks of taking action: Could it harm a relationship if you take over in a way that’s too aggressive or assertive?
  6. Consider your personal growth: Is this an opportunity for you to level up your skillset both as a leader?
a group of people with their hands together
Photo by Thirdman on

Remember that when taking charge of a situation, it should be done responsibly with the best interests of those around you. Effective leadership involves strong communication, collaboration, and empathy.

What does God have to say about taking charge?

As Christians, we are encouraged to seek God’s guidance and trust in Him to lead and direct our paths. The Bible teaches we are to acknowledge God in all our ways and to trust in Him rather than relying solely on their own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Before you make a big decision to take charge of a situation, pray. 

Ask God if this is what you should be doing. And if you decide it’s a “yes,” pray some more. 

My mom and I prayed for my dad and husband as they entered the water and embarked on the mission of putting the dock in.

We are called to be proactive and take responsibility for our actions while seeking divine guidance and submitting to God’s will.

That said – sometimes  it’s easy to pray about something over and over again, and then sit around and wait for God to give you a sign.

There are times though, when we need to prayerfully consider something and then take action. 

God will be there for you every step of the way, even when the action you need to take is scary.

Looking for an opportunity to reflect and take some of your challenges and thoughts to prayer? 

Check out our upcoming retreat:

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