Most cars today have an automatic transmission. Manual transmissions are increasingly rare. It’s understandable. An automatic transmission is easier to use. You don’t have to deal with the coordination it takes to press in the clutch while shifting between gears. My first car was a Fiat Spyder and I learned to drive a stick. There are gears for different speeds. Driving a manual transmission can be fun. It connects you with the road and the vehicle and you feel more in touch with the driving experience in shifting gears. It is also a lot of work and thus I think it is safe to say I will never own another stick-shift transmission car.
Shifting gears is also a good metaphor for home. In life we operate in different gears. Sometimes we operate in the gear of defense and protection. Other times call for risk and courage to move forward. Other days may be filled with rest and peace, like cruising in the top gear.
Leadership can be this way. At times you need to function as a drill sergeant; barking orders, giving commands. Other times you may be a coach giving instruction on how to accomplish a task. Still other times you are out in front, providing vision to the team. In my role here at Canterbury, there are days when I need to be a peer, working alongside sharing the struggle in a personal way. Other days I am the in the bleachers cheering folks on in the challenge. I am present there, which bolsters support for the individual. Once again we can see different gears of leadership for different moments.
As we learn from a manual transmission, to change gears you engage the clutch. In life and in leadership, the clutch is love. Being kind, compassionate, gentle, forgiving is what allows you to move between the various functions and roles. As you let the clutch out you have to give it a little gas and that is a mixture of faith and hope. Pressing on the gas pedal while pressing in the clutch is the art you must master if you are to be successful in driving a stick shift vehicle. So it is in life, you have to master the blend of faith, hope and love to move forward towards your destination of home. Without the gears the engine could run and even be revved up but it’s only when the gears are engaged that the car actually moves forward.
Life is full of many situations calling for action. The art of a good life is finding the right gear in the right moment. Whatever the gear, we get there with Faith, Hope and Love. And as the Bible would say the greatest of these is Love!
Canterbury Retreat & Conference Center as been home to The Oviedo Rotary Club for decades. They meet every Wednesday at 7:30am. This service organization does so much to build the local community and beyond in service projects, scholarships, student exchange programs and more.
The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
FIRST: The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
SECOND: High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness
of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
THIRD: The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and
FOURTH: The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a
world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
Become a part of the Canterbury Team!
Choose a level of giving that’s right for you:
Join us at $1.00 per day ($40.00)…Canterbury Friend
Join us at $10.00 per day ($400.00)…Canterbury Partner
Join at $100.00 per day ($4000.00)…Canterbury Champion
ONLINE: Click here to give now
PHONE: 407-365-5571 (credit card over phone)
MAIL to: CANTERBURY / 1601 Alafaya Trail / Oviedo, FL 32765
(Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization)