“Get the car started! We’ve got to get going!” I was told as the bags and purses were put into the back car seat. I replied, “Well, I have a rule that I go by, and that is that I never start a vehicle unless everybody is completely in or completely out.” Since this has been a personal rule by which I have abided for virtually all my driving life, I asked myself the question, “Where did that rule come from?” As I thought about it, here is what I saw. Back in the days when automobiles had “standard” transmissions and operated by a “clutch” there were two things that could happen. Number one, if you cranked the auto without the clutch pushed in, the vehicle would bolt forward or backward depending on which gear it was in. Number two, if you cranked it and had it running with it in gear, and your foot accidently slipped off the clutch, again you have the same results of the vehicle bolting forward or backward, depending upon which gear it was in. Either way someone getting into the car could get startled or hurt. The careful way of starting the car is to have the passengers either all the way in or all the way out. That is why I had established that rule for myself way back when I was a young teen driver. These days, most cars have automatic transmissions that won’t even allow the key to work to crank the engine if the gear shift is not in park. So that rule does not really apply.
Sometimes it is well for us to examine why we do or don’t do things to see if we are unnecessarily allowing fear, or traditions, or perceptions to cause us to live in bondage. Jesus paid the price for us to live in abundance in every way. We prepare this way of abundance of the Lord by working with him to bring down the hills and mountains, fill in the valleys, make the crooked places straight, and make the rough places smooth in our lives (Luke 3:4-6). We do this by turning from sin and ways of self and by believing the good news of the word enough to apply it to our lives by obedience and a consistent faith-filled confession. A thorough periodic examination by a physician can save a lot of suffering or even save our life. A thorough periodic spiritual examination to check ourselves out according to the way of the word can save a lot of suffering or even save our eternal spiritual life. Sometimes we need to add things, sometimes we need to leave off and turn from things. Direction and answers come by asking “Why?” and then going to the word with an open mind and heart to receive from God himself. Get the car started!