Take Turns to Drive

Take Turns to Drive

The unforgettable journey in the previous story didn‘t end in Bangkok. My daughter and I arrived at San Francisco International Airport on Dec 19, 2017. We had two layovers in China making the total length of our trip 33 hours. My wife flew from New Mexico and met us at the airport in San Francisco. All throughout our travel, my daughter handled one of the luggage. She managed it at Chinese Visa Center in Bangkok, at Suvarnabhumi Airport, during a 12-hour layover in Guangzhou and three hours in Wuhan, China.

Overwhelmed by the excitement when she met her mother after five months, she became less cautious. She was sitting on the luggage when we rode the AirTrain, a train that connects the terminals within the airport. She forgot to get the luggage when we left the train. Unfortunately, we noticed it only after the train departed. It is common for families to be less vigilant when more family members are around, diffusion of responsibility.

The immediate solution was to call the Lost and Found Department. They told us they had just checked the train but found none. They searched because there was another person who reported his lost luggage just before we called.

Losing the luggage was to become a setback in our plan. We planned to drive to the Golden Gate Bridge during our 9-hour layover before flying to Las Vegas. Shall we keep on searching for the luggage or go ahead with our plan? The clock was ticking. Making a confident decision with my exhausted brain was difficult. My wife took over the family leadership. She suggested that we go ahead with our plan. We prayed about it, cast all our cares and enjoyed our trip to the Golden Gate Bridge as if nothing happened. When we got back to the airport, we went straight to the Lost and Found Department as if we were told to come and get it. To our relief, the luggage was there. We were given after answering a couple of questions to prove it was ours.

There is no mastermind in family decision-making. Growing up, I had seen my mother take the driver’s seat of family leadership and save us all when challenges shook our dad. She stood up as a leader when he lost a high-status job, became a political detainee and got sick in the last years of his life. Women can rise above the limits of tradition and culture.

I hope no husband will get in trouble because of what I wrote. Ladies, please don’t be overexcited and a make a drastic decision like withdrawing your family savings and give it to charity without your hubby's knowledge. You will give him a heart attack. And you will be in the driver‘s seat for the rest of your life, plus pushing him around on a wheelchair.

The Bible presents several instances when wives played a significant role in family leadership. Abigail saved the life of her wealthy husband, Nabal, after her husband defiantly refused to grant David his request for food. David and his army of 400 men were on the run from King Saul. They eventually came close to Nabal's place and sent messengers asking for food. After the rejection, David was preparing to attack Nabal when Abigail heard about it. She got some of her servants and took a lot of food and met David on the way. She was able to appease furious David (1 Samuel 25).

In another instance, when the Israelites were under death decree as captives in Persia, it was Queen Esther's wise approach to the king guided by her uncle, Mordecai, that saved the life of the Israelites (Esther 5). Her influence on the king and her tactful approach was a key in averting the scheme against her people.

Though it is Biblical that men assume the leadership role in the family in providing and protecting, it doesn't mean that women's role is meant to be passive. It is a teamwork. When one party comest short of the strength to fulfill their duty, God will empower the other to sustain the family.

Take turns to drive this DELICATE vehicle called FAMILY. There are times to be the driver and times to be the passenger.


Have you ever expereinced a role reversal in your family? What did you learn from your expereince?

Prayer Journal

What is your prayer for tough times in your family? What kind of mind set would you like God to grant you?