Don’t Pop the Clutch

Hot August days take me back to when I was a real young sprout, and I was learning to drive a pick-up truck in the hay field.
Back then the term “clutch” was common knowledge, and I was told to let out on the clutch smoothly. When you did not let it out smoothly it was known as “popping the clutch.” This made the vehicle suddenly lunge forward in a jerking fashion often times clearing the dash of any loose articles and dumping any load that might have been in the back of the truck. I was doing pretty good on my driving. The loaders had the truck loaded out with the hay stacked several layers high, one guy on the ground, and the other guy up on top. Just a couple more bales and we would be ready to head to the barn to unload it.
Suddenly my foot slipped or something and the unthinkable happened. I popped the clutch. The guy on top and most of the stacked hay came tumbling down. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and with the hay re-loaded, we took it to the barn.
With practice and time, we learn skills early on that go with us the rest of our lives, and we become proficient in those skills. We can learn to drive the hay truck without popping the clutch and losing the load. It is the same in the kingdom of God. We start out and we make mistakes and sometimes lose the load. We repent, we own up to and deal with where we messed up, we turn from what we did to do it different and go a different way, and we go forward from there. Sometimes it seems like we just can never learn, but persistence pays. In time, if we will stay with it, we can learn what we need to learn.
The Apostle Paul in Romans 7 went through a struggle with knowing to do good but not doing it, and knowing what he should not do, but he found himself doing it. He thanked God through the Lord Jesus Christ he found the solution.
In Romans 8, in learning to walk in the Spirit, he tells how there is no condemnation and the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in the life of the believer. The end result of this walking in the Spirit, and the expression in the end of that chapter, is that in the midst of all the things of life “we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37).
As we give ourselves to be filled with and walk in the Spirit of God, even in the midst of the adversities of life, we can learn to stay tuned in to God’s voice and God’s way for smooth operation in our heart and mind. Through the Spirit, we can learn to not “pop the clutch.”
Jackie Calhoun is a contributing writer and can be reached at