In What Gear is the Transmission of Your Life?

Are You Starting 2018 in the Right Gear to Achieve Your Best?

Are you cruising, speeding or at a dead stop? If compared to a car, is the transmission of your life moving in the right direction?

The Transmission Controls the Movement of a Car

If you want to go forward, put the car in drive.  If you want to backup…reverse.  To sit idle…well that would be neutral. Just like the transmission of a car controls the movement of the car…so does your stance or position in life control the movement (or lack thereof) in your life.  As we enter into a new year it is a natural time of reflection. Reflection on the year that has passed; what one did or did not accomplish as well as what one hopes to achieve in the new year.  Questions  for you:

Is the transmission of your life in forward movement?  Are you in the right or wrong gear to succeed? What or who is powering your life?

The Gears of Life

In the standard automatic transmission the gear options are: park, neutral, reverse, and drive. Same is true with life. Understanding each gear is the first step to identifying which gear one’s life is in. I have added an additional gear, and while it is technically not a gear…it is a situation that can arise both while driving a car and in life…getting stuck in-the-mud.

  • Parked

Parking a car means to bring it to a halt, to stop and leave in a parking spot with no movement. Are you starting the new year off in a parked position?  Have you abandoned your life and decided to do nothing?  Maybe the current situation is too difficult or finding a solution has taken too long.  Maybe your faith is being challenged or fear has paralyzed you into no action at all. There are several reasons a person parks their life. Getting into motion will take intentional action.

  • Neutral

Neutral means the car is disengaged from the engine.  It is different from parked because park is the intentional act of no movement. Neutral is neither deciding to move nor not to move…it is coasting.  Are you coasting into 2018?  Have you lost your passion and fervor for life? Do you stand for anything or nothing? If you have no convictions in your heart and are going with the flow regardless of what it is, that might be the clue that you are in neutral.  Is neutral the correct gear to help you accomplish your goals in 2018?

  • Reverse

Reverse is backing the car-up, opposite of forward or drive. In life, reverse can mean going back into the past and mentally living there.  It can mean going the opposite direction in which you really want/need to go.  Shame, guilt or low self-esteem could be the culprit keeping you from forward movement. Do you find yourself constantly battling the same problems of the past?  Could childhood pain or unforgiveness be holding you captive?  This year is the year to switch gears.  Nothing can be done to change the past, but you can make a new future.

  • Stuck in-the-Mud

Have you experienced being stuck in-the-mud?  The car is literally unable to move and no matter what gear you put the car in the tires spin and go nowhere. That happens in life too. There are times when we get stuck in pain, brokenness, the past, sin, or failure.  No matter what one tries, it has a hold that won’t let go and one remains stuck. Have you ever felt this way?  Do you feel this way now…are you entering the new year stuck in-the-mud?

  • Drive

To put a car in drive means to guide, control or direct a car forward; to go somewhere with forward movement. Is your life in forward motion? Don’t pay attention to the speed…just forward movement. Are you advancing in your life…growing wiser, accomplishing goals, becoming all that God intended you to be? Are you working on your shortcomings and sin? Is your character becoming more like Christ by developing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control?  This is the gear for 2018!

Power Source

If you have identified yourself to be in park, neutral, reverse or stuck in-the-mud one reason might be your power source.  Are you trying to propel life on your own strength or by the thoughts and opinions of others?  What about the culture …how is the culture impacting your core beliefs about who you are and how loved you are? Is your life based on truth or lies?

God is the single power source that can pull you out of the mud or infuse passion back into your life.  He can breathe hope into the parked life. And He can change your reverse motion by using all situations for good, for growth and forward movement.

Drive’s Power Source

Drive is the ultimate gear for living, but beware. Even in drive position the power source can be wrong. Striving in your own strength to be loved, significant or to control is not a lasting power source. It will eventually leave you alone, beaten up and bruised.  Do regular heart checks.  Clean yourself of selfish motives by humbly confessing to God and asking Him to restore in you a pure heart.  God is loving and kind, and He will answer your prayers.

Examples of Forward Faith Action in the Bible

There are many examples in the Bible of forward movement.  It is faith in action. Do you think Peter would have walked on water if he didn’t take the first step (Matthew 14:22-33)?  What about the woman who suffered from 12 years of bleeding…she moved towards Jesus and got close enough to touch the fringe of His clothing and she was healed (Luke 8:43-48).  Noah had to take action and build the ark!  The examples are numerous! But if you notice in each story it took forward, faith action…God will work with even the smallest step. He never forces us because He loves us. 

“The Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Use your shepherd’s staff- hold it out over the water, and a path will open up before you through the sea.”  Exodus 14:15

Let’s Get in Drive Today!

As we start the new year with hopeful expectation of what is to come, if you found yourself in the wrong gear…STOP right now and ask God to help you deal with your present condition. It could be as simple as being aware of the situation, setting some goals and making an intentional decision to change. Or it could be much more complicated.  If so, ask for help.  Call a friend to discuss and be accountable to. If needed, seek counseling or schedule a visit with your pastor.  There is no shame in needing help.  We all need someone sometimes!

Start this New Year Off in the Right Gear!

Sincerely with Hugs,


#FindYourBrave #FindForwardMovement

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  1. Katie | 5th Jan 18

    Great food for thought! I love the analogy. Something to chew on at the start of the new year. Thank you!

    • JJ | 6th Jan 18

      Thanks Katie. That is the intent…get you thinking about the internal drive :).

  2. Jennifer Turney | 6th Jan 18

    I am DRIVING!!!!❤️
    Never been happier

    • JJ | 6th Jan 18

      Love it!! I know it has been a journey and so glad you are in drive :)!

  3. Alan Moore | 6th Jan 18

    A nice positive message to start 2018. Thank you

    • JJ | 7th Jan 18

      Thank you!

  4. Abbey Louisa Rose (@abbeylouisarose) | 7th Jan 18

    The metaphor that you’ve used here is really very effective, what a great way of communicating your ideas! Right now I definitely feel like I am in drive, I’m working really hard to achieve my goals and it really is motivating!

    Abbey x

    • JJ | 7th Jan 18

      I am so excited that are in drive. Going to be a great 2018!

  5. Colette | 7th Jan 18

    Love a good metaphor!! Hope your new year has started well.

    • JJ | 7th Jan 18

      Thanks! You too:)

  6. Hannah | 7th Jan 18

    I feel parked at the moment and really want to go into drive

    • JJ | 7th Jan 18

      Hannah, you can do it. Baby step just the smallest movement forward #FindYourBrave. Hugs and prayers 🙂

  7. Erin Alice Ek Rush | 7th Jan 18

    It’s nice that you find so much support from your faith.

    • JJ | 8th Jan 18

      I couldn’t live without it!

  8. Rachel | 7th Jan 18

    The analogy is really clever but you are right, there is nothing wrong with asking for help.

    • JJ | 8th Jan 18

      Help is a gift you can give yourself. Also, it blesses the people who help you too 🙂

  9. Rebecca Smith | 7th Jan 18

    Such a positive message – we should all be starting 2018 in our right gear

    • JJ | 8th Jan 18

      Thank you!! I totally agree

  10. Aimee Bradley | 7th Jan 18

    Finally in drive after a year in reverse. Great post thanks for sharing.

    • JJ | 8th Jan 18

      I am so happy to hear your gear has changed! 2018 is going to great.

  11. Kathleen | 7th Jan 18

    Stuck in the mud. I think that describes my Study life. First night of a new study is tomorrow and my book still has the wrapper on it!

    I’m getting off the couch and putting it in drive right now! Thank you for the encouragement.

    • JJ | 8th Jan 18

      Awesome!! I am so excited for you and your study. Growth for 2018!

  12. Vicky @The Growing Mum | 8th Jan 18

    I’m the one driving erratically through the mud, making slow progress but wearing myself out hahaha.

    • JJ | 8th Jan 18

      LOL. At least your going forward. However, if your going too fast…well that could be a whole other post!!

  13. Rhian | 8th Jan 18

    Very interesting, I never connected my cars to gears like this but it’s so true. Too many people are in reverse and spend too long looking behind them x

    • JJ | 8th Jan 18

      Yes, I spent many years in reverse myself. Glad to be in forward motion!

  14. Agata | 8th Jan 18

    Love the article! I think I am in drive, but who knows… I might as well be stuck in the mud.
    Happy New Year!!!

  15. Melanie | 8th Jan 18

    I love this metaphor and always find it really useful to use things like this as a reflection tool x

    • JJ | 8th Jan 18

      I love a great metaphor too. Helps to bring the point to life. Thanks!

  16. Susan Evans | 8th Jan 18

    If God commands you to be still and wait on Him, setting goals would be sin. This is the first year I have been commanded by God to be calm and rest in His presence. Because I am a woman of action, this is the hardest thing in the world for me to do. I will not sin against God by inventing my own goals when Jesus wants me to be aligned with Him and follow His daily instruction. It reminds me of Abraham who by faith walked with God, even though he didn’t know where he was going…

    • JJ | 9th Jan 18

      For your circumstance I would say that being still is forward movement 🙂

  17. Emily Leary | 8th Jan 18

    Who knew cars could be such great metaphors for life? This is a great way to reflect on how you’re feeling going in to a new year!

    • JJ | 9th Jan 18

      I know…I didn’t know it either until the idea sparked in my heart!

  18. Amanda | 8th Jan 18

    This was such a creative post. I feel like the 2nd half of 2017 I was stuck in the mud. Up to my eyeballs! Now I see an open road, but I have to make sure I am not moving forward too fast!

    • JJ | 9th Jan 18

      Congrats for getting out of the mud!! Yes, too fast could seriously be another post :). I just might write it. I have had a few others comment about that very thing.

  19. Wiola | 8th Jan 18

    Very good article, thank you! Being aware of the situation definitely helps you to begin to drive! Towards your goals, towards your better future, towards achieving your goals! Happy New Year, everyone. May 2018 be a good year for us all!

    • JJ | 9th Jan 18

      Thanks! Yes, heres to a good 2018!

  20. Julie | 8th Jan 18

    I would say I’m in the drive position. Ready and willing for God to use me and grow me in 2018! Great post!

    • JJ | 9th Jan 18

      Awesome!! Julie so thank that you are starting 2018 in drive 🙂

  21. Michelle Leslie | 9th Jan 18

    What a lovely analogy JJ, it just makes so much sense. Currently I’m in drive and maybe speeding just a little 😉

    • JJ | 9th Jan 18

      HAHA…I have had a few speeders reply. I might be writing a post about that soon! Keep in steady and congrats on driving into 2018:)

  22. chichi | 9th Jan 18

    I think i have started the new year in the right gear and i pray i remain in it!

    • JJ | 9th Jan 18

      Awesome! You can do it!

  23. Maria | 9th Jan 18

    your play on words ad use of analogies was really smart – the best way to paint a clear example 🙂 I agree with you so much on the importance of asking for help! there’s no shame in that and people should not be afraid of it either!

    • JJ | 9th Jan 18

      Thank you Maria! Yes, help is what everyone needs at sometime in their life.

  24. Preet | 9th Jan 18

    I love this metaphor, great way to reflect on how you are feeling and starting the new year. I would say I am in the drive position after being in neutral for some time.

    • JJ | 9th Jan 18

      Great! So glad you have moved from neutral to drive!! Forward movement even if baby steps.

  25. Joanna | 9th Jan 18

    I guess I will actually be driving into 2018, literally and figuratively, as I am just about to start my driving lessons but I am also moving to a new country in a couple of months and start a new life there. So hopefully, the road won’t be too bumpy 🙂

    • JJ | 9th Jan 18

      WOW! How exciting and how fun to correlate your new driving skills with your new life and forward movement in life. Love it! Good luck to you :).

  26. Jillian | 9th Jan 18

    Mind: drive mode. Body: Stuck in Neutral! haha! Been feeling sluggish, but trying to move forward with a few ideas and goals I want to accomplish for this new year.

    • JJ | 9th Jan 18

      LOL I love the honesty! Great insight too.

  27. Kesha | 9th Jan 18

    I absolutely love this and your heart for God. What a wonderful message and a terrific way you developed your points using gears of a car.

    • JJ | 9th Jan 18

      Thank you Kesha! God is everything to me and I would not be where I am without Him :).

  28. Chelsee | 9th Jan 18

    I am definitely in drive right now. Ready to move. I am leaving my full time job to stay home with my girls and focus on my blog full time and I am ready for a change!

    • JJ | 9th Jan 18

      Congrats! That is awesome and I wish you the very best in 2018. You will never regret the time with the kids. It goes by so fast.

  29. Ithfifi | 9th Jan 18

    This is such a great way at looking at life and how we progress. I’d say I’m going forward but up a really steep hill, but its fine, I’ve plenty of gas/petrol and in good shape 😛 Reversing is only good for when you really, really have to.

    • JJ | 9th Jan 18

      Awesome…forward is great even it an uphill…you can do it! You’re a fighter :).

  30. corinne & kirsty | 9th Jan 18

    This was a very informative post. I have been driving for a few years now but don’t know much about gear (or just forgot everything about it! it was also a nice analogy!

    • JJ | 10th Jan 18

      Thank you and so glad your have been moving forward.

  31. Cindy | 9th Jan 18

    Great post and very encouraging! I love your examples of Biblical courage. I never thought of the bleeding woman as someone who had to move forward in order to be blessed. Thanks!

    • JJ | 10th Jan 18

      Thank you!

  32. kym | 10th Jan 18

    I haven’t learned how to drive yet,(just got my permit) but this will absolutely help me out with learning the best gears

  33. Samantha | 10th Jan 18

    What a great metaphor. It really illustrates your point. This has such a positive message!

    • JJ | 10th Jan 18

      Thank you Samantha! I am so thankful for your feedback :).

  34. Karlee | 10th Jan 18

    This is such an interesting but accurate analogy! I switch gears frequently and hope to be getting a job soon to start my life going and will be getting into drive pretty soon!

    • JJ | 10th Jan 18

      Congrats on getting a job! Sounds like the new year is starting off great!

  35. Erica Ardali | 10th Jan 18

    What a valuable lesson! I’m currently in DRIVE! Trying my hardest to stay there.

    • JJ | 10th Jan 18

      You can do it!! Even if just baby steps or a snails pace…:)

  36. Nina | 10th Jan 18

    I’m sure we all would like to say we’re in drive. I know I do. Some days it feels like that and others it doesn’t. I try not to accomplish everything but instead reflect on the positives.

    • JJ | 10th Jan 18

      Yes, it would be nice to always be in drive. BUT life is hard and unexpected things happen. However, if we can take notice of what is happening then we refuse to stay in a wrong gear too long.

  37. Karrie Frost | 11th Jan 18

    I am definitely starting this year in drive. What a creative metaphor for life.

    • JJ | 11th Jan 18

      That is great! Thank you!

  38. Elizabeth O | 11th Jan 18

    What a great and positive message you’ve shared with us. Such a creative metaphor in life. Will share this with my friends.

    • JJ | 11th Jan 18

      I appreciate the feedback and the share :).

  39. Whatlauraloves | 11th Jan 18

    I feel like I’m teally in the driving seat for 2018. I’m rareing to go, it’s going to be awesome!

    • JJ | 11th Jan 18

      Awesome! Can’t wait to see where you go.

  40. Ellie Plummer | 11th Jan 18

    This is a really cool post. I think I am parked at the moment but I’m hoping to start driving in this year.

    • JJ | 11th Jan 18

      You can do it!! I am routing for you :).

  41. SaraLyn | 16th Jan 18

    I feel like I have been stuck in the mud in the past. This year, I am striving to make changes and put my life into drive!! Looking forward to what the year has to come!

    • JJ | 16th Jan 18

      Awesome!! Excited for you. WE have all been in the mud or will be in the mud. The idea is to get out once you realize it 🙂

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