Wearing Versace shirts, silk slacks and gold chains – Biggie Smalls and Puff Daddy raced through the streets of the Florida Keys driving a Mercedes convertible…in reverse. This is my favorite scene from one of my favorite hip-hop music videos. It defied the norm and was simply cool to watch. There are times I’ve had to move my vehicle in reverse for just a short distance (i.e., parking lots) and I would fantasize how it would feel to go down the road in reverse like my hip-hop heroes.
It’s not that simple.
If you’ve ever had to drive your car in reverse, for more than 100 feet, you understand that maneuvering in reverse is extremely difficult. This is primarily due to the fact that your vehicle is engineered to place you in a position to move forward. The seats are configured to where you have to twist your body to see behind you. The wheels are designed so that only the front tires can change turn and change your direction. The windshield gives a panoramic view of what’s ahead while providing only a small mirror to reveal what’s behind.
Our lives are designed to move us forward. Our bodies were constructed to move towards what’s in front of us. We can’t see behind our backs. Our arms and legs bend and stretch forward. Our mouths project our voices in front of us. Like the car, it is very difficult to see and navigate in the direction of what’s behind us.
So why are so many of us driving our lives in reverse?
Fixated on our past experiences. Chained to unhealthy habits. Enslaved to negative perceptions that cause us to drive backward; therefore impairing our ability to navigate safely and preventing us to accelerate towards a life that is new.
The only way to get out of reverse and change direction is to shift.
Shift your thinking. Shift your vision to God’s view. Shift your body towards the actions that reflect your destiny and not relive your history.
We can’t solely pray for the shift, but we must put our hands on the gears that are in the wrong position and shift into the place where we need to be physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It takes courage and strength; with God, we have infinite access to both.
You can’t just shift once. That will only place you in Neutral and be still, with your future waiting for you down the road, is just as bad as going backward. Shifting twice moves you out of being still and places you in Drive. Shifting is the key to moving forward. Shifting takes effort, mechanical redirection, and body repositioning. Shifting means moving further away from what’s comfortable. Shifting means focusing on what’s ahead through the windshield of your life, while merely glancing at the images of your past through a small rear-view mirror.
How you manage your time changes when you shift. The dynamics of your relationships evolve or dissolve when you shift. Your body may revolt when you shift. Your emotions may rebel against the unfamiliar when you shift. If you stay in Drive, move forward, seeking God and acknowledging Him as the source of your strength to shift out of reverse — He will direct your path. You just hold the road.
When shift happens, you are immediately closer to where God wants you to be.
“Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.” (Isaiah 42:9 KJV)