A Piece of My Day

1.28: Shift to Neutral

Posted on: Friday, 28 January 2011


Huh. Well, lookee there…the picture seemed clearer when I took it.

I took the above photo while waiting to enter the car wash today. The car wash I use is one of those that has the track you drive into, which has the little dealies which grab the car’s wheels to move the car forward. In order for the dealies to work, however, your car must be in neutral. The direction given at the top of the sign is thus: “Shift to Neutral.”

I have to admit – the first time I entered this car wash, I was pretty nervous about putting my car into neutral and letting the dealies basically steer me into and through the tunnel (the sign also says to keep your hands off the wheel). I’m not big into giving up control – especially where large pieces of machinery are concerned – especially when the large pieces of machinery are flying willy-nilly around my car. I’d rather have some control – thank you very much – so that if one of the pieces of machinery goes completely haywire, I can book it out of there.

Today, it occurred to me that this is how I sometimes feel about life, too. Sometimes, I really want to manage it myself. Sometimes, I really think that I’ll do a great job steering – thank you very much – and so I get a death grip on things until I’ve taken the life right out of them.

So much in life isn’t up to me. That’s not to say that I shouldn’t ever do anything or take any initiative. But the thing is – the Holy Spirit is moving and active in ways that I can never be, moving in people’s hearts and minds whether I know it or not. And so, while to me, something may be in neutral, to God, there is great activity of the Spirit – and I just can’t see it yet.

Eventually, my car and I make it to the end of the car wash, and the gigantic hair dryers clear the windshield so I can see again. I put my car into drive, grasp the wheel, and head out into the world. And I think that, for us, life is like that, too – we somehow make it through our tunnels and emerge on the other side with clearer vision. And what joy to know that we are not alone – the Spirit is with us for guidance and comfort and joy and peace.

May the peace which passes all understanding be upon your night,




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