I recently switched from driving a stick shift car to an automatic. I thought it would just come naturally because technically it's the easier of the two to drive, except that every morning when I get in the car I almost drive through the back of the garage.
In my other car, reverse was the gear farthest back. In this vehicle, reverse is just past park. But, in the foggy drive to school, I am on autopilot and I just do what I always did. I put my foot hard on the floor, because I forget there's no clutch, throw it in drive and gas on.
Then I step hard on the brake and remember that I'm driving a different vehicle.
Changing gears spiritually is much like that. When we become Christians, we are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), but how many of us continue to operate as though we were the same old person?
Beth Moore speaks of dragging the ugly old dead man around with us. Deep down, our spirits know that something is different. Yet we fight to hang on to the old life. We fight the same battles, carry the same sorrows, and react to the day to day operations the same way. To the watching world, and ourselves, nothing about us has changed. Our shiny new vehicle might as well be a demolition derby jalopy.
Choosing a different way needs to be intentional. Jesus won't stop me from throwing the car in drive and driving through the garage wall, but He'll be there encouraging and directing if I seek His response to a situation instead of just doing the same old thing.
If you find that you've accidentally driven out the back of your garage, metaphorically speaking of course, take heart. Jesus is in the business of restoration. Confess your sin and seek forgiveness. Spend some time in the Word; Galatians 5:16-22 and Colossians 3 are good places to camp. Adjust your mirrors, look around, and remember which vehicle you are driving these days.
It's time for a joy ride!