I remember just like it was yesterday. I walked over to my new vehicle that I had been given, “orchid” and there it was. The clutch. My immediate thought was, “No way, there is no way I will ever learn to drive standard “stick”. I hopped in the driver’s seat and my Bro who blessed me with the vehicle, hopped in on the passenger side. I told him, “I don’t think I can do this, I’ve never driven standard before”. His response was, “Oh you will be okay, I will teach you right now”. Needless to say it was an adventure, indeed. I stalled at every red light and stop sign. I can’t quite capture with words the embarassment that I experienced, but I knew for sure that I would not be able to learn all that I needed to leard in ” 1 day”.
A few days later I received lessons from my lovely Canadian mom, Sis.Anita. She took me to an open parking lot and within an hour I did not master the ability to drive standard but I did gain confidence to hit the road, expecting a few stalls here and there. It didn’t take long before I began driving like I was apart of Nascar. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I’m in control of the vehicle or if it’s the sound that the car makes when you shift gears and press the gas, but I sure love it. There is something about being apart of every step of what you are doing and where you are headed.
In this experience, I realized that in many ways our lives parallel the dynamics of driving standard. We often doubt our capabilities because of a lack of familiarity and as a result of that, a degree of “failure” is portrayed. However, when we dare to step out and just try whatever that “unkown” thing may be, there is a new awareness of possibilities. I never thought that I would be able to drive “orchid” properly but with time, I learn what it meant to “shift gears”, to feel the car and just listen. Does this not sound like our lives? If we take the needed time, required to become skilled in that which we desire, there are no limits to the outcome.
In life you will “stall”, you will even feel embarassed that everyone has seen your “mess up” right in the middle of the road but can I tell you that there is confidence to be had in the process of it all. I remember praying that I would get all “green lights” so that I would not have to down shift buit guess what?! It seemed like every light would turn red, right when I would get close. In many ways those “red lights” symbolize people, circumstances and sometimes even hardships that force you to learn how to do that which is needed. I can now say after driving standard for 2 years that I am thankful for the red lights because they served their purpose. Do you see where I am going with this? Life is not meant to be rushed through, it’s meant to be enjoyed at every red light, every stall, and every lesson along the way.
As in my experience, I had to get another teacher who would be able to explain the process of driving “orchid” in a way that I could grasp. There is no shame i finding people who can help you along the way. Why spend your entire life stalling at every hardship and every challenging situation just because you are afraid or too prideful to ask for help. I can honestly say that this has been a part of my journey as well. I too have had to learn to just ask and to be okay with the fact that “MIRACLE REED does not know everything”.
In life, it may seem like the close you get to reaching your goals (just as in my experience to reaching red lights), the more frequent you experience set backs but can I encourage you in knowing “first hand” that every set back is not a set up to keep you stuck but a set up to motivate you to keep going. Nothing is learned in one day. In fact most of what we know is based on daily making ourselves available as a student to the instructor named, “Life”. It’s all about shifting your thinking, its all about shifting your thoughts about yourself, and shifting gears.
Depending on the road and weather condition, I am required to shift gears. This had to have been one of the most challenging lessons of all: “Learning to shift gears on an incline, especially after you have made a complete stop”. I know this sounds familiar to you. It’s easy to shift gears when you are in a comfortable place, in fact you don’t even have to shift gears when you are comfortable but being placed on a “hill” or (mountain like experience) or reaching a place in your life that is at a standstill, there is no way around it, you must shift gears if you don’t want go rolling back from where you came! Wow,God is totally speaking as I’m writing at this very moment.
Will you allow me to stop for a moment? I feel like God wants someone to know that the reason you continue to slide back, drift back, go back and keep getting caught up in the same cycle is because you refuse to shift gears. You refuse to change your way of thinking and your current position. God is saying the reason why you take one step forward and 5 steps backward is because you expect your life (car) to move forward when your mind and heart has not..I hear God saying as clearly as I am writing this…”Its time for you to shift gears”. Don’t spend another day making excuses for those people, that job, your actions, or even your family….Move forward, Its time to SHIFT.Wow!
So, with that I feel that I should end with this: Everything you need in this life has been made available in some way. It may be directly, it may be through your family, or it may be through a mutual connection but overall all angles of your life have been covered. The thought that I want to leave you with is : Are you willing to shift the gears of your life with what you’ve been given and with what you have learned, or will you continually find yourself complacent as a result of not being willing to learn a better way? The choice is up you but keep in mind that the result is up to you as well.
Will you choose to SHIFT GEARS!?
A Life That Inspires.
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