I watch my husband engage the cruise control as our car enters the expressway and gets up to speed. The man never drives without it; and gets annoyed when other drivers don’t use it. I’m in the ‘don’t use’ group. I am the rebel wife who curses any electronic device that locks me into a cruising speed. I prefer to navigate the roads in all five gears.

First gear is for noting signs of danger; flashing lights that warn of construction and bumps in the road. You know, those signals that indicate you should slow down to a crawl and keep watch of the potholes and narrow lanes ahead.

Second gear is reserved for traveling the scenic back roads to experience the wonders of life, step back from the day to day humdrum and relax. It’s a time to drive with the top down, wind blowing and take in the sights.

Third gear is my autopilot mode. It’s a coasting speed where I can just point my life in any direction and go. I have to be careful I don’t stay in this gear for too long because it’s easy to get zoned out and mesmerized when traveling in the same lane. Before I know it, I’m drifting into other lanes. That’s an accident waiting to happen.

Fourth gear gets me into the passing lane. This is not a timid gear, but a gear to move forward with purpose. It’s also a gear that allows me to reserve fuel while I focus on the new roads I need to travel to reach my destination.

And then, when I really want to rev up my engine, I shift into fifth gear. It’s the gear of adventure and exploration. It awakens my soul to change and the rewards of taking a risk. Driving in fifth gear shouts, “no baggage” allowed; gun it and go! Of course, it’s inevitable I will run out of gas if I never take pit stops. To continually run the engine at high speeds is crazy.

But, I also don’t want to have fear about putting my foot to the pedal. That momentum is what will drive me to find my passion. But, I must also travel life at a speed that is comfortable and allows me to experience the wonder and awe of the journey.

Don’t let flat tires, bottle neck traffic, fender benders or traffic citations keep you from reaching your destination. Turn off cruise control and learn how to switch speeds without grinding the gears. And for goodness sake don’t shift into reverse. The goal is to move forward, not backwards.

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”.

Philippians 3:14

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