Some people learned to drive in go karts. Others, golf carts or even Grandma’s Buick. Me? I cut my teeth on the steering wheel of an old grain truck. The first was a 1949 Ford with a flathead V8. Once I mastered that, I moved up to a mid-70’s cab-over Ford with a funky 330 cubic inch Ford Marine engine. We never did figure out how what was essentially a large inboard boat motor got bolted into a grain truck, but it was a machine to be reckoned with.
The move from the ’49 flathead to the big cab-over was huge. Suddenly, I was sitting about four feet higher and had a lot more power at my disposal…and the shift knob had an extra pull button that controlled a two-speed axle, meaning we had four speeds in the transmission and two back between the rear wheels, giving us 1st low, 1st high, 2nd low, 2nd high, etc all the way up to 4th high.
It was feasible to skip gears, going from 1st low to 2nd low, but once you reached 4th low, you had to do the tricky shift to 4th high, which involved cutting the throttle, pulling the tab, crossing yourself with your free hand, and easing back into the gas. While all the other gears seemed close in ratio, going from 4th low to 4th high was like using a step ladder to reach the moon. It wasn’t easy, but once you got there, it was amazing. The truck would flat out fly…you’d go from growling engine topping out at 50mph to a purring sowing machine at….uh, a lot faster than 50mph.
All that to say it feels like we’re shifting gears as a family. We are headed in the same direction as before. We are fueled by the same stuff. We’re on the same path and we’re operating under the same rules of the road…but it feels like God’s about to pull the 2 speed knob and everything that can change will.
Part of this is in relation to The Zoe Foundation. Nothing seems easier to me than TZF right now. Part of it relates to The Compound. I stood there today and saw things crawling towards completion. Some of it is with the kids. Two nights ago, my seven year old prayed “God, make my prayers effective so I can see people get healed…”.
All that said, I still remember that the shift to 4th High was always scary as heck. Sometimes, it didn’t work like you thought. Interestingly, I feel like a shift was kind of missed a year ago….but this feels different. This one seems like we can’t avoid it. It’s uncomfortable and a little scary. But I think it’s going to work.
Here we go. Hang on, people.
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