This is Day 4 of 31 Days of Life in South Africa …
The Lord had provided enough money for me to purchase a car when I arrived in South Africa, so arrangements were made for me to buy a little white Jetta from the twins’ older sister.
There was only one problem: It had a manual transmission, and I’d never driven a stick shift before.
Well, except for the one or two lessons that my former late-night waffle-eating partner had given me before leaving the States, but those hadn’t proven very fruitful.
So, my personal tour guide took it upon himself to teach the ignorant American how to drive a manual.
He took me to the parking lot of the University of Cape Town, where the rustic campus buildings are nestled into the mountainside like a red-headed choir serenading the city bowl.
Night after night we’d go to that same parking lot and practice the same basic steps, even in the rain:
Neutral, first gear, start, stop. Neutral, first gear, start, stop.
His patience was unending; mine was short-lived. I wanted to learn how to drive, not just stop and start. But his efforts and longsuffering paid off, and in hindsight reminded me of the Father’s patience with His children.
Now all I had to do was remember to sit on the right side of the car, shift with my left hand, and drive on the lefthand side of the road.