Do you have a tire specialist? I hope so. A tire specialist can give us the information to make the proper adjustments to get the traction we need to go fast, stay in the race and finish. How about our life? Do we have a tire specialist to guide our walk? Are we just spinning our wheels? How much traction do you have? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
One of the most common sights in the garage area is the constant attention to the tires. This is done because that is where the horsepower is transferred to the track. The tires reveal to us what is happening when we are out on the track racing. They tell us how we can improve the car’s performance during the race.
Many times when we see blisters or tread wear we blame the tire. Maybe the compound is too soft or too hard. Maybe the tires are from a bad batch or they weren’t cured right. It isn’t always the tire. The problem may be deeper than just where the rubber hits the road.
Tire problems indicate deeper issues. What we see on the surface isn’t a problem with the tire; it is an indication that what the tire is attached to needs to be adjusted. Maybe the stagger is wrong, perhaps it is the shock setup or maybe the spring rate. The driver could just be driving too hard. Tire problems usually indicate the foundation they are connected to is not stable. I could go on but I think you get the picture. If the tire isn’t connected to the right setup it will show in the way the tire wears. How we respond to the indications determines how well we will run the race.
Let’s look at the closing passage of Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” found in Matthew’s Gospel.
Matthew 7:24-27, NIV; “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Therefore is an interesting word; when you read it this is what it means; because of what was said make these adjustments to your life. Think of your tires again, when you see certain indications you make certain adjustments to your car. Jesus says, “Therefore make the following adjustments.” He tells us of two lives, asks us to consider the end result and make the correct adjustments.
Let’s take a look at the similarities of each man mentioned in this passage. First thing we notice is that they both sought to attain the same goal, build a house. But more than a house, they wanted to build a lasting image of a successful life. They wanted a legacy. So that when generations have passed they could look back and see what they built. We have many legacy buildings, think of the Chrysler building, Hershey Park, the Biltmore House, and many more all built to leave a legacy.
This is not unlike our desire when we come to the track. We all have the same goal, to win. We seek to set a standard no one else has set. When we succeed recognition comes. We seek to leave a measuring stick for others to shoot for. Many in the Modified community know who you mean when you say Five-time. Just as Doug Coby had Mike Stefanik, Tony Hirschman, and Richie Evans to focus on, the drivers to come will look to Five-time as the benchmark to leave a legacy.
As each of us know, having the goal and getting there is two different things. So many variables go into racing and life. So many things that are out of our control; how can we possibly put things together in such a way as to achieve success? How do we go about accomplishing our goal? Is there one way that is best? Where do we find the answer?
That leads us to the second thing these men had in common, they both went to the same seminar. If we read closely we find that each one heard the words of Jesus. Each one had the same information to use. Each one had an opportunity to succeed. We have the choice as to how we apply that information we have.
Think of it like this, teams compile notes about the history of tracks, tires, setups so that they can make adjustments in the future. Now what if those notes were public? Suppose you have at your disposal the setup notes for a certain track. If you use that information to set up your car you have a better chance of figuring out what it takes to make your car go fast at that particular track. A head start on getting your car setup in a way that will enable you to win.
Thirdly we find that they both experienced the same challenge. There was a storm. It was the same storm for both of them. There was no difference between what took place in each of their lives. When we come to the track we all are faced with the same challenge, setup the car so that you are able to win. The track conditions are the same for everyone. The distance is the same for everyone. The practice time is the same for everyone. The rules that dictate what equipment can be used are the same.
All things being equal, what separates the winner from everyone else? The one who makes the right adjustments based on the information he is given. We all have choices to make in life. Each choice comes with its own set of consequences. How we choose and how we respond reveals who is in control of our lives. Jesus contrasted the two men for us, the wise one applied what he heard and the foolish one didn’t.
It is very rare that the winner of the race had the wrong setup. Having the wrong setup usually plays itself out during the race. Most times we see it all too clear. Right front tire wears out and you are introduced to the wall. Other times it just shows up in lack of performance; we just can’t get up to speed. How our car is set up determines how we run the race. It determines if we are running in such a way as to win. Our set up decides whether we succeed or fail.
We talked about the similarities of these two men, now let’s explore their differences. The main difference is with the application of the instructions they received. One listened and applied what he heard. One listened and ignored what he heard. We see this played out in the results they achieved. One was able to withstand the storm and one was not.
Remember that both men heard the right instruction and, as each one of us do, had a choice to make. Do I follow these instructions or do I choose my own way? Many times in life we learn things the hard way. Have you ever walked by a bench that said wet paint and for some strange reason you have to go over and test it? Now you have to find a way to get the paint off your hand.
One man applied what he had heard and when the storm came he was able to withstand it. The other ignored what he had heard, the storm came and his life came crashing down with a great fall. How we finish is a result of the decisions we make. It matters whose advice we follow.
Take the starting lineup of a race for example. Can you tell who has the best racecar? They are all nice and polished. They all have four wheels and a motor. They all have a talented driver. Can you tell which one will win? No you can’t. The cars have to run the race. Then and only then will we see who has the better car. Now having the best car doesn’t guarantee you a win. You still have to make the right decisions during the race. No one ever won a race that they didn’t finish.
What can we take with us from this passage? Jesus said listen to my words and do what they say. If you do this you will be able to stand even in the fiercest storm. If you listen to my words and do not make changes to your life, when difficult times come you will not have the foundation you need to withstand the storm. I encourage you to listen and apply the teachings of Jesus. He will enable you to have a strong foundation that is able to withstand any storm. 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.