Sometimes things get heated up at the track. Sometimes we don’t respond in a way that honors God. It can be hard at times, especially in the heat of the moment, to remember that we belong to God. We need to reflect his character not ours. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
One of the most challenging things to do in racing is to keep our composure when everything around us is going crazy. We are reminded in the driver’s prayer to respond in a way that honors God. Why is that important? Why do we need to keep our composure? It has to do with the bigger picture, not getting caught up in the heat of the moment. When we develop that composure we go a long way toward responding in a way that honors God.
What does it take to win a race? I thought about the ingredients necessary to win, there are many variables, but not one that guarantees victory. I had trouble putting my finger on them; you need a fast car, but the fastest car doesn’t always win. You need a car that can get out front and lead, but the car that leads the most laps doesn’t always win the race. You need the skills and talent to drive a racecar, but the most skilled driver doesn’t always win. A skilled team that can make the necessary changes during the race would win, but the best team doesn’t always win. Well as you can see there are many necessary ingredients to win, but you can have them all and still not win. What does it take to win? I guess that depends on the race you are running.
We need to know the race we are running. We need to know what the goal is. We need to have a realistic expectation consistent with the resources we have. In racing all the things mentioned above are necessary and then some. We need them to come together on race day and this still doesn’t guarantee victory. Things will happen during the race that will have a significant impact on the outcome. If we don’t attempt to run we can never win.
Running the race in such a way as to win involves responding to situations that arise in a way that honors God. Proper preparation, understanding expectations and maintaining composure help us not get in over our head. Handling ourselves properly helps us run in such a way as to win. It also allows us to look each other in the eye after the race is run. We succeed when we respect the other competitors in the race. If we do not handle ourselves correctly we cannot run the race in such a way as to win. How should we run?
1Corinthians 9:24-27, Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
I am reminded of the story of David and Goliath. If we look at the two competitors the race was over before it began. On one side we have the giant Goliath, a man, an experienced fighter, larger than life and intimidating. On the other side we have a shepherd boy with no armor, just his sling and staff. On paper the race is over. The battle is done. But we know different, sometimes the underdog wins. Sometimes the one who looks inferior rises to the occasion and wins the race. What tips the scales in their favor? David was a man after God’s own heart. He lived in a way that honored God. Goliath fought with his own strength and power. David fought not only with his strength and skill, but also with the blessing of God. You see to run the race in a way as which to win, you must race within the will of God.
We have the presence of God with us when we are in His will. When we choose to take things on with our own strength and understanding we are not running in a way as which to win. The passage we read points out three important things;
Don’t run aimlessly. In order to win the race we must know where the finish line is and the way to get there. God provides a direction for us. Seek Him out and follow His guidance. He is the best crew chief going.
Don’t fight against things that are not there. Too many times we spend our energy worrying about things that haven’t even happened. We get anxious and try to predict the future, don’t get caught up chasing the shadows of things that are not there. Deal with what is real and use the wisdom and strength of God.
Don’t be disqualified. We reason our way out of doing the things that are right. We find excuses to justify the choices we make. We cannot let ourselves give in to our selfish desires, but instead we must do what is right. We can justify anything we do with many reasons, but that doesn’t make it right. We must do what is right in the eyes of God.
Paul adds that there is a way to respond that honors God. We need to reflect the character of God when we run the race. Only then can we have victory even in defeat.
Ephesians 4:1a-3, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Many times we race against competitors who are full of themselves. They strut around like they are so great. They are full of pride and arrogance. I am here to tell you if you get drawn into that thought process you will never win the race. Don’t get me wrong you can still be competitive and tenacious and combatant and still honor God. The secret is not to think more of yourself than you ought to. Look at David and how he was able to be victorious over Goliath.
Goliath laughed at him when he walked on the battlefield. Goliath insulted him and the nation he represented. Goliath didn’t take him seriously. David wasn’t defeated by the arrogance of Goliath. He placed a rock in his sling and flung one stone striking Goliath in the forehead and killing him.
We need to remember what we have been called to and run the race in a way that will honor God. We will not wilt when the circumstances seem to be overwhelming, the pressure seems too much. Whatever we do will prosper, we will taste victory. Look forward to experiencing God’s blessings. Run in such a way as to win! Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.