As dusk fell greyed the familiar mountain road, fog clouded the scene, leaving the pavement wet with mist. Jolene neared the end of an all-day trek across the state and noted, “Wow! Roads more curvy than a plate of spaghetti!” Her teens, both with learners’ permits, took the role of backseat drivers. She looked beyond their frequent advice and remembered a teacher’s tip for staying alert.

“Forget the caffeine. Eat sunflower seeds,” the coach advised. “It will keep you awake into the wee hours.”  He spent hours and miles driving a van filled with teens to school athletic events.

So Jolene was now mastering the coordination of a stick shift, sunflower seeds, and S-curves. While Jolene downshifted, she turned the wheel with one hand, cracked the seeds with her teeth, she dropped the shells in a paper bag with her free hand.

The teens in the backseat had their own opinions.

Just as Jolene was powering into a curve, a youthful voice cried out in a loud voice, “Dear God, please get us home safely–even though–YIKES!–It doesn’t seem possible right now!”

A few miles later, another of her offspring interjected, “Mom!”


“Your driving! Pay attention! That skunk wanted to cross the road! It had the right of way!”

She mumbled to herself between sunflower seeds, “Leave it to someone who has 26 miles of driving experience to have all the answers!”

Road, weather, and opinions in the backseat improved in the next few miles and the family got home safely with a big thanks to God.

Life is never dull because of all the challenges, mountaintops, and valleys we travel.  Leaning on God in all situations is not weakness, but strength. For God is many times stronger than we are. He can help through anything – health, family, relationship, career challenges – even curvy roads.

God’s plans for us will include things that are difficult and beyond our abilities. But with his help, God evens up the odds and helps us to the goal. He is the most steadfast and powerful friend anyone could have. He can be your team leader.

When a bicyclist races, he or she counts on the team to break the wind. That strategy conserves energy and allows the bicyclist a burst of speed at the finish. A racer needs his team.

In the bathtub races through the open channel between Nanaimo, B.C. and Vancouver, a full-sized boat smoothes the water in front of the small watercraft fighting its way across the open sea. For safety and to make it across the rough water, a bathtub racer needs help.

God smooths the path before us. He is our support team and leader who makes us strong to the finish.

The great warrior and King David wrote, “You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.” Psalm 18:28-29. This followed one of David’s many victories.

Victory in everyday life with God’s help may even make it simple navigating with a stick shift, sunflower seeds, and S-curves.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from, her speaking engagements and  website, Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]




About Jo Russell

Jo’s humor, inspirational stories, articles and devotionals have spanned more than 40 years, with several national writing contest awards for humor. She's a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Soul—Shaping the New You and Heavenly Humor for the Dieter’s Soul.

Contact Jo

Find Jo on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule Jo as a speaker or to discuss your writing project and receive a free quote, call her at 928-536-2479. Or contact her using the website Contact Form.

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