Stuck in Second

by Tara Johnson

My car is stuck in second gear. True story.

 second gear

Actually, it’s my husband’s car but I had the distinct displeasure of driving ‘the turtle’, as I call it, yesterday while taking my middle child to Speech so my hubby could use our good vehicle for a short road trip. I’d totally forgotten his car had seen better days until I slipped behind the wheel. Not just better days. Faster days. Cooler days.

Did I mention the air conditioning doesn’t work either? Oh, and some of the windows won’t roll down. Limited ventilation. No air. In Arkansas. With summer quickly approaching. I think you’ve got the picture. I was creeping our little family down the road in a slow-moving crockpot on wheels.

I tried not to complain. Really, I did. After all, my husband never complains about having to drive The Turtle. Not much, anyways. But as my tee shirt began to stick like glue to my perspiring back, I wiped another trickle away from my damp brow and pushed back a sigh of irritation. The kids were sweaty, it was dreadfully hot and the line of irritated cars behind me was growing steadily longer by the minute.

That is, until I turned the corner and spied three police cars, their radar guns pointed and ready.

You want to know the good thing about driving a car stuck in second gear? No tickets. I smiled, noting the irony of my suddenly brighter situation, and waved as I slowly moved by, rotating my hand like a queen stuck atop a float.

It suddenly struck me that my attitude had seen better days as well. The entire grump-saturated morning could easily have been reversed by flipping my perspective. Sure, the car would still be slow as molasses, the air would still be sweltering and my hair would stay a chaotic mess from the wind. But I realized I wouldn’t have been complaining at all about my wind-whipped hair if I was driving a convertible. Or better yet, one of these bad boys which we spied later in the day.

sweet car

But I digress…

It’s really about attitude, isn’t it? Being thankful no matter the circumstances because we rely on faith that God is working all things together for our good, no matter the daily frustrations and seeming ‘set backs’. If I had been in my normal ride, I could have easily gotten a ticket…or worse yet, been in an accident.


When we’re stuck in second gear, it might seem like opportunities are slipping through our fingers, that life is moving faster than we are, but it might be God’s way of filtering out the noise and distractions to get us to the place He intended for us to be all along. And those disappointments? Those moments might be God’s way of keeping us safe.

If you’re stuck in second, don’t grouse. There’s a reason, at least for now. Sing a song of praise with those windows rolled down. Let everyone hear. Oh, and another good thing about being stuck in second gear? You’ll have plenty of time to sing as you creep towards your destination. You’ve got all day.

All the better.

What about you? Have you had your own ‘stuck in second gear’ moment?


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