Which One's The Clutch?
When I moved back to the States six years ago, I had to (or rather got to) start over, which meant needing to buy a car. There were two requirements I had: it needed to be a Jeep Wrangler and it needed to be a stick shift. In hindsight I believe the idea of getting a Jeep was a present from God. I had never had one before and had actually only ridden in one a couple times in my life. But for some reason I just had my heart set on getting a Jeep and I am so glad I did. I never thought I would enjoy a car so much.
Wanting to get a manual transmission, however, was an obvious choice, after living in another country, I knew only in America do we have automatic transmissions. And since I assumed I would eventually move out of the country again, I wanted to be prepared to drive wherever I may end up. So in the Spring of 2007 I bought Magee... but my dad had to drive her home because I had no idea how to drive a stick. One thing I feel I should mention is I'm a "jack of all trades, master of none" kind of gal. Which is very handy in a lot of ways because I can pick most things up pretty quickly. The down side is when things are hard, I have a tendency to quit. So after stalling out for the 5th time in a row while trying to learn to drive my new car, I just threw my hands up, put my head on the steering wheel, and said I want to sell her cuz I will NEVER learn to drive stick shift. But then a friend of mine who is patient, and helps people learn to fly planes, took me to the local university parking lot and helped me figure out what I was doing wrong (I kept stalling every time I went from 1st to 2nd so he had me go straight into second). Then I was off doing laps around the parking lot, then driving in the adjoining neighborhood that, unbeknownst to me, led to one of the main roads. On that first trip I stalled out of course, on a minor hill, which terrified me, but my wise friend told me not to panic and take my time because most people will realize I'm learning to drive a stick. I carried this wisdom with me and for a while I thought that I would never get the hang of it. Well, as anyone who's driven stick shift for a while knows it becomes second nature. At first I had to watch my RPM's or speed, but now I know the sound and feel of the engine when I need to shift. I don't even actively listen for it, it's just an instinct. Not to say I don't sometimes still stall out. It happens from time to time and I have to admit, it takes me so off guard I can't help but crack up. A couple years ago there was a time when I was driving home from a weekend trip and was kind of tired. It wasn't the "dangerous" kind tired, but the "I needed coffee at the next stop" kind of tired. I was with a friend on the highway and needed to downshift to get up a hill (did I mention that my little jeep is a 4 cylinder which I have learned keeps me honest and I should never have a more powerful engine cuz I would probably pay a lot in tickets). So, I was going a decent speed and started to go up a hill. I pushed in the clutch and the car jerked. I mean it lurched forward so much my friend almost hit her head on the dashboard. But, praise God, I realized in a split second what I had done. I had pushed in the brake instead of the clutch!! Well no coffee was needed to get us home because my heart was racing. That only happened the one time, but every now and then I'll be on the highway just cruising and need to downshift and I'm caught like a deer in headlights. I remember that day when I pushed the wrong pedal in and I freak and think "which one's the clutch?" This happened a couple months ago and I literally had to talk myself through it. I had worried myself into a panic by over analyzing something I know like the back of my hand. I've also done this a couple times when I'm at a red light on a steep hill, especially when there is an expensive car behind me. I'll be waiting for the light to change and it feels like it's taking days to see green, and I freak myself out. "What if I roll back too much?" "What if I hit the other car?" "What if..." Stupid right? I mean I guess I could hit the car behind me just like I could get attacked my a mountain lion next time I go I'm hiking. Chances are the odds of that happening are pretty much nonexistent. And this got me thinking about how in John 15 Jesus talks about Him being the vine and we're the branches and we just hang out in Him. The way I see it is once we are His and He is ours, He becomes our second nature. I remember when I was younger I would get myself in a tizzy worried I would "miss God". I had very little understanding of how He does the changing and He does the work in us. I didn't grasp what it really meant to be "in Him" (My pastor does a much better job explaining this idea in our current series found HERE. ) It's not like I have life all figured out now, believe me I am still a work in progress. But I'm thankful that like driving my car, I can live my life knowing my job is to stay connected with God and trust Him to do the guiding and the changing. It's when I over think things and realize that I have no career goals or ever dreams for where I'll be or what I'll do in 10 months, let alone 10 years that I find myself crying out "Which one's the clutch?"... Instead I need to just hang out with The One Who Knows Me Best and ask Him where I'm going. Chances are, for me for night now anyways, he's only gonna let me see a week out but that's ok. He knows where He's taking me and I can trust that...