Where Cruise Control Will Take Your Relationships

Never put precious relationships on cruise control.

Alaska sightsIt was a huge dream…an epic dream actually! They saved for years and years…and years. They sacrificed little treats and common place luxuries, because they were smitten with the call to explore the wildlife and mountains of Alaska.

Never put precious relationships on cruise control.

Every detail had been carefully planned. They wanted to drive, so they could stop when they wanted and leave when they wanted. Their “Must See List” covered attractions across the state. They decided to drive a motor home to save on motel costs. Crossing into retirement was their last hurdle. Now it was time for the adventure to begin.

Heavy coats, sweaters and boots, ensured they would be ready for any kind of weather. They loaded food and soft drinks into the rented motor home. With the excitement of a five year old, they buckled their seat belts and pulled onto the road.

After a few hours the excited driver felt hungry. He wiggled in his seat to get comfortable, when he decided now would be a good time to get gas. His wife made him a sandwich while he pumped the gas. He was surprised when she offered to drive.

He tried to discourage her offer. But when she insisted, he relented. She adjusted her seat and side view mirrors. Took off her shoes and stowed them behind her seat and pulled onto the highway. After a while she remembered that the motor home had cruise control- one of the conveniences they had sacrificed to save for this trip.

She was super excited. She had no idea how to set the cruise control, so she asked her husband. Just like he instructed, she tapped the handle on the steering wheel column and watched the words “Cruise Control” light up on the dashboard. She double checked the speedometer to be sure it matched the speed limit. Then clicked the button on the end of the cruise control handle. Slowly, she took his foot off the accelerator and watched the speed remain where it was set. She smiled confidently, but inwardly she hooted and hollered when it worked.

She returned her attention to the road and waited… sitting perfectly still to be sure the speed would remain constant. When it did, she moved gingerly so she didn’t bump the cruise control handle. When her husband saw her leave her seat behind the wheel and start to the back of the RV; it was his time to holler, but it was too late.

Of course you know what happened to the RV. She didn’t understand that cruise control was not the same thing as auto-pilot. And from that moment until now, Wayne has not let me drive anything!

Never put precious relationships on cruise control.OK! It’s just a joke!

We went to Alaska, but we didn’t drive and I didn’t put anything on cruise control.

It’s just a joke, but there is a truth and a reminder in this story; you can’t put an RV on cruise control and expect to reach your destination. And it’s not a joke when people put precious relationships on cruise control either.

We work hard to develop a relationship,

then we forget that relationships must be nourished to thrive.

Tweet this!
Precious relationships like your marriage, your children or even your relationship with God wouldn’t stay on track if you stop giving them the attention they need to thrive.

Great marriages crash when left on cruise control.


Children crash when left to fiend for themselves. Tweet this!

Precious relationships like your marriage, your children or even your relationship with God wouldn’t stay on track if you stop

Our walk with God veers into a ditch when left on cruise control.

We read about and see the casualties of relationships put on cruise control all around us.

It’s easy to do.

Life is busy.
Jobs and dreams.
Pets and pests.
Troubles and celebrations.
They fill our calendars and stretch our ability to cope, so we put some very important things, important relationships on cruise control without realizing what we’ve done…that is …until they crash.

Passionate love in a marriage grows 

comfortable, so shifting into cruise control doesn’t always feel odd.

Kids wanna hang out with their friends

and its easier to just let them hang out more and more; than it is to deal with the complaining. Soon, we skip meals together and then devotions and then conversations; all to accommodate their growing demands and bulging activities.

Even our relationship with God

can grow cold and ordinary, if we aren’t careful to keep it a priority.

Alaska-denali sign

So some relationship suggestions:

Don’t take the special people in your life for granted. Tweet this!
Express your love and gratitude creatively, sincerely and frequently. Tweet this!
Care about the things that are important to them, even if those things aren’t important to you.  Tweet this!
Practice active listening. Look them in the eyes when they talk.   Tweet this!

What is one thing that you do to keep your precious relationships from shifting into cruise control?

Each of these suggestions apply in all sorts of relationships, even in your spiritual relationship with God, all except #4, the “look them in the eye” suggestion.
Which we can’t do yet, but we will one day. And then we won’t want to take our eyes off of Him, because we’ll see just how beautiful He really is.
Keep your relationship with God a priority. It is the most important and enriching relationship you can have.

How are you doing with your Bible reading?

I got off schedule last week. I spent my Bible Study time studying a specific subject in scripture, but I’ll get caught up this week. that’s the beauty of a good plan!

2 thoughts on “Where Cruise Control Will Take Your Relationships

  1. Opal Mahaffey says:

    So true Sister Pat if we don’t stay on track we will veer off and lose our place. Love you and love reading your stories. We have to work hard to be sure to keep our relationships strong especially with God. My family and friends are so important to me and to let them know is a priority to me. Love you and Bro. Wayne blessings to you both.

  2. Pat Holland says:

    Opal, I know how you love to laugh, so this was a good one for you to read! I hope you laughed. I’ve noticed so many times how you care for people. Making sure they are in church and checking on them when they have needs! Love that about you. What a great way to nurture relationships. God bless you! Love you too!

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