Several years ago, I was scouting a meeting place for a new church in Hobart, IN with one of our planters. In town there was an unused movie theater we wanted to explore. Looking in the windows, there seemed to be plenty of lobby space for hospitality and gathering. I know that one of the keys to meeting in a theater is having a good place to load and unload equipment, so we got into the car to look at where the back doors were. I was driving along looking around, telling the planter the pros and cons when suddenly he yelled, “Curb!” There was a sidewalk extension behind the building and I didn’t see it since I wasn’t looking down. My front tires went over the sidewalk and then down on the other side and that’s when I applied my brakes. I found myself with front tires on one side of the sidewalk, back tires on the other, tightly stuck in place.
Thinking about this experience last weekend, it hit me: my problem intensified when I hit the brakes. If I had kept going, my back tires would have continued up onto the sidewalk and my car would have made it over to the other side. I robbed myself of momentum when I became flustered and pushed down on the brakes.
I can think of other times in my life when I have applied the brakes during difficulty. Maybe I’ve been surprised by something or frightened about uncertain circumstances. Whatever the cause, instead of maintaining some momentum, I slow down and stop because it seems safer. However, when this is the choice, it becomes very difficult to get moving again.
Sometimes brakes do need to be applied. But we shouldn’t push the brake pedal because of fear, being flustered or uncertain.
I learned several lessons that day: Watch where you are going. Drive the car. Momentum can keep you going if you don’t apply the brakes. (By the way: a tow truck and $45 dollars later, I was unstuck). We all face trying circumstances at times, during difficulty, try to keep moving, this will prevent stickage.