The Power of Stick Shift

I got a surprise when I left work the other day: My car wouldn’t start.   The battery was dead because I’d left my headlights on at lunch.

Who should I call?  How long would it take for Dad to show up?  How long would it take for Mallikar or Pat to show up?  How long would it take for –

Dang, I don’t have time for this, I have a Bible Study to attend. 

What were my other options?  Besides prayer, of course, I didn’t think of that until now.

Then I remembered something I’d read recently from John Eldredge,

“…Adam is captured best in motion, doing something.  His essence is strength in action.  That is what he speaks to the world.  He bears the image of God, who is a warrior.  On behalf of God, Adam says, ‘God will come through.  God is on the move.’  That is why a passive man is so disturbing.  His passivity defies his very essence.  It violates the way he bears God’s image.  A passive man says, ‘God will not come through.  He is not acting on your behalf.’”

Yes, that entire quote flitted through my brain, and I then said to myself with a fierce resolve, “Far be it from me to be construed a passive man.”

I'm not the only one who has tried this.Pushing my car out of its’ stall, I lined it up pointing toward an open stretch of parking lot.  I’ve done this before and you have to get it going faster than you think. 

The power of stick shift is that you can (theoretically) start this type of car mechanically by getting it rolling really fast in neutral and then popping the clutch.

After making sure the runway was all clear for takeoff, I leaned on the trunk and give it an oomph.  Did I mention I was wearing dress clothes?  It started moving slowly, then faster. 

Was anyone watching?  I checked that I was still heading straight, then really poured it on – soon literally sprinting behind the Honda!  Uh-oh, looks like we’re gonna hit that Ford in about twenty yards.

Then it was time to get back in the vehicle, but I found it hard to catch up with a car already flying along as fast as I could run.

With an extra burst of speed I did a Jason Bourne and dove into the driver’s seat and quick popped the clutch: glut-gluuuut-gluuuuuuuuuut—-  silence. stopped.  At least I didn’t hit the Ford, near miss.

So that didn’t work.  But I didn’t necessarily expect it to.  My main plan was to cause enough commotion that someone would have mercy on me and offer a jump.

Sure enough, moments later a very large shiny SUV came lumbering around the corner.  The drivers side tinted window cracked open and a pair of eyes peeked over the top. 

A high pitched ladies voice emitted, "Do you need a jump?" 

I tell the eyes, "No, I just push cars around parking lots for excerci – yes, I could use a jump, thanks for stopping by!" 

The window rolled down a bit further.  A friendly enough face appeared.

The friendly face asked, "I don’t have jumper cables, do you?" 

Yes, yes, I live by the Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared.” Just pull your car around, thanks…  but see here, my jumper cables won’t reach that far, you’ll have to maneuver behemoth SUV a tad closer – Augh! not that close!

In no time flat I was on my way.  I’m very thankful for such a charitable co-worker, she was quite helpful.  A real live Samaritan.