Carrie Underwood’s 2005 hit “Jesus Take the Wheel” immediately came to mind when I was asked to write a Reflection on my experience as a volunteer at The Door is Open. I’ve been working in the kitchen for almost eight years, organizing, prepping and serving meals to our women’s program on Wednesdays. Admittedly, I’m a type-A planner personality; I like to be in control at all times. It’s the reason I chose Accounting as my original career, but kitchen creativity has always been my passion. When I began volunteering every Wednesday, the accountant in me would start planning what we might make for lunch, thinking about what extras I could pick up from the grocery store to bring just in case the pantry was bare and we’d be at a loss for menu ideas. I’d worry when I went to bed on Tuesday nights, and have butterflies as I drove in to Door is Open on Wednesday mornings. As we rolled up our sleeves and scoured the pantry, sometimes we’d have boxes and boxes of cabbage, sometimes we’d have fresh red peppers, or eggs, or ham. Some weeks we would have nothing but beans. Every single week felt like a re-enactment of the bible story of the Loaves and the Fishes. The weeks when we had the very least were the weeks that we produced the most bountiful, creative dishes. Every week I left the kitchen with a feeling of relief and gratitude. But most of all I realized that all my planning and all my worrying were not making any difference at all. Things were always working out, regardless. The best plan, and my most reliable plan, was to show up with a smile and a positive attitude. Weekly, I walked into our pantry and thought, “Lord, what do you have in store for us?” Something would always pop out on the shelves or someone would make a wonderful suggestion. Letting go of the control, being open and positive, and going with the flow has transformed this work into an absolute joy. And this lesson echoes throughout my life. The less I try to control things, and the more I stay open, positive, and honest, the more things just fall into place. Letting “Jesus Take the Wheel” has improved my life in many ways; maybe we could all give Him the wheel a little more often.

Categories: Reflections