”New Year! You Must Change Gears!”
By Pastor Ron Buxton
One benefit of having a coffee shop on a major highway is that I get to talk to many people from other parts of the country and world. For example, a few weeks ago, I was having a discussion with a car enthusiast from New Zealand which actually made me laugh out loud. With a twinkle in his eyes, he referred to the manual transmissions in most older sports cars as “an anti-theft device”! And he mentioned recent news about an attempted theft of an expensive Italian sports car that went (literally) nowhere fast!
We both chuckled at his clever phrase, but it got me to thinking about an analogy concerning life itself. You see, in many ways, most folks seem stalled-out in the parking lot of life. That extra pedal on the floorboard totally confuses them, and every effort to move forward causes their motor to sputter and die. They know that their car was designed to transport them through life, but they just cannot seem to move forward without stalling out! Sadly, that describes the vast majority of people that we meet everyday. Frankly, nobody has ever told them how to operate the manual transmission that they’ve been given. Or they ignore any attempts from others to teach them. Or they simply ignore the owner’s manual that their car has inside the glove box. And so, they just get used to living in the parking lot of an empty, stationary life. So tragic, and yet, so unnecessary!
Maybe–due to a very low geared transmission—folks can actually get the car to move. I once drove a work truck like that. All you had to do was put it in first gear, and then quickly drop the clutch. But if that’s all you’ve learned to do, then you’ll find that first-gear traveling gets very tedious after awhile! Not to mention the strain on your motor! And that, my friends, is not exactly what the owner’s manual recommends! However, I’m convinced that many church goers fall into this category of first-gear driving. Again—so unnecessary!
Whether your car is moving due to the proper use of the clutch (or by some kind of accident as described above), God designed our lives to travel so much more efficiently. It’s in the “Owner’s manual”–the Holy Bible! You need to know that God desires for us to “change gears” in order to fulfill His purposes, and ultimately, for His glory. You see, to not “change gears” will leave your motor constantly whining everywhere that you go—and that, my friends, will eventually lead to a breakdown!
Folks—read the “Owner’s manual”! God wants us to leave the parking lot, and then travel to the places of the greatest value to God, ourselves, and others. And as the ultimate driving instructor, God promises to help us get into gear and onto the highway of life that He designed for us. Why not allow God to teach you how to really drive your life this upcoming year?