As you know, we recently traveled to New York for our twin nephews’ high school graduation. That travel involved an airplane and rental car.
The plane ride was a piece of cake. Beginning with the special tickets to skip the long security line right down to an uneventful arrival in Albany. Luggage in hand we arrived at the car rental counter to complete paperwork, then off we went on the short walk to get the car.
As we arrived at the kiosk a very nice young person (they all look young to me these days), pointed out my car. She didn’t look at the paperwork and told me not to worry about the inspection when I saw some minor scratches as all they cared about were misplaced bumpers and major damage. There were no instructions, safety check, or review of the car features.
I was driving that day as hubby had left his driver’s license at home. It was a struggle at the airport to get through Security without it so we decided we wouldn’t push our luck by having him do any driving while in New York.
Since the car was a Chrysler 200 which I was quite familiar with as it had been my Dad’s car, I thought “no problem.” Luggage stowed in truck. Check. People loaded in car. Check. Driver in place, engine on, car shifted into gear…check, check, NO CHECK. What?
Where was the gear shift? My hand immediately went to the middle. No shifter sticking up. Then it flew to the steering wheel. No shifter lever there either. Huh? I started looking everywhere and nothing was standing out as a gear shift.
I was about to go get the nice young lady to point it out to me when I looked down at the middle and saw a round knob. Could it be?
Yup, it was. And it had the PRNDL label to prove it. With hesitancy, I turned the knob to D and sure enough the car moved into gear and off I drove.
With such a different set up, I would have thought the car rental rep would have taken a few seconds to point it out to me. And that few seconds would have saved me a few minutes of angst looking for something that to me was anything but obvious. (I have to admit, it was odd to me the entire weekend. It just felt “wrong” to turn a knob to change gears.)
Sometimes life is like that. We’re expecting one thing to happen and something else takes place. We expect things to be normal and events to unfold just like they have been for years until the unexpected steps in and turns our world upside down.
When that happens, we can experience all sorts of possible outcomes. Here are just a few for thought: I can panic as I nearly did in looking for the shifting lever that I knew had to be there but seemed to be hiding; I can call upon someone to help as I was about to do; I can reason my way through which is what I ended up doing as I knew there had to be a way to shift gears.
We will always be confronted with new challenges; it’s just a part of our life experiences. But it’s how we respond to those challenges that will determine whether or not we walk in victory.
My gear shift story was silly but many of our daily challenges are difficult and life-altering. Let’s resolve NOT to panic. It does no good at all.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
Is reason a solution? It can be and often it is.
My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:1-6)
And how about asking for help? That’s definitely a good one. Yes, if we ask from godly people. And most definitely YES if we seek God directly.
Listen, Lord, to my prayer; hear my cries for help. I call to you in times of trouble, because you answer my prayers. (Psalm 86:6)
As you can see, needing help isn’t the issue. The problem occurs when we put off seeking help or we don’t know where to find it.
Let’s learn to be quick to rely on God and seek His guidance about all else. Next time you find a gear knob instead of a gear shift, you can smile when you realize though it may have caught you off-guard, it certainly hasn’t caught your Heavenly Father off-guard.