Encouragement, Leadership, NASCAR

The Need for Speed

images-2NASCAR racing is fast and getting faster.  These cars can cover one full mile of oval track with four turns in 24 seconds!  Being up close and up front is exhilarating when feeling the rush of air currents created, smelling the burning fuel and having to wear ear plugs from the “straight through” exhaust noise.  Eight hundred plus horsepower in the engines times 43 cars sends out a vibration of sheer excitement.  These hyper motor cars are moving faster by you than the human eye can concentrate on any one colorful, decal-filled machine.  The driver concentration must be beyond something that most of us can’t even identify with.  And to continually cover this one mile oval for 400 plus laps, maintaining the speeds needed, holding onto a car that won’t turn, but slides at times, being inches or less from the cars around you…well, that’s just a superhuman feat.  Who says these drivers are not athletes?  You better be in the best of physical and mental shape to handle the resistance in the steering wheel, oppressive heat (most times well over 100 degrees) in the cockpit, the possibility of a crash at any moment, all the while, communicating on the radio with your crew chief and listening to your “spotter” (the person informing you where everyone else is on the track).

Life seems to be moving faster and faster these days.  Sometimes it’s a rush of excitement and sometimes it’s about protecting yourself from crashing and burning.  It seems to take more concentration today to keep our eyes on the mark and to not become distracted by how quickly our world is changing.  At times there is oppressive heat, noise and resistance as we walk out our faith.  We have so many negative voices yelling at us while we are really trying to hear our Spotter (the Holy Spirit) telling us which way to turn and what areas to avoid.  It takes single-mindedness to stay on the track and in the race.  We need to work on our spiritual conditioning on a daily basis and not fall behind.  No matter how hot it gets or pressure-filled, keeping our eyes on the prize, we will run the race to win and receive that final reward.images

Leadership, NASCAR, Small Groups, Training


Relax. Take it easy.  Consider all you have accomplished.  Take pride as you survey your surroundings of comfort.

I have been reading through the book of Deuteronomy of late and am seriously finding it full of life.  Yes, that same book of Deuteronomy found in the Old Testament, the fifth book of the law.  In chapter 8 there is this solemn warning  of having eaten and feeling satisfied.  It feels like Sunday afternoon after chowing down on a wonderful lunch and then lying on the couch preparing for the big game, or better yet, a NASCAR race.  It’s almost heavenly.  Somewhere in the back of your mind you’re thankful for it all, that is to say, your house, your food, your family, your job, your car, your…  Moses warns us as we consider all this (actually he says things like our flocks increasing along with our gold and silver) to be careful that we do not become proud and forget where we came from and Who it is that blesses us with these things.

I like the feeling of “satisfaction” as much as anyone.  It feels like we have accomplished something.  But, when pride becomes part of the equation it’s dangerous.  When we become proud we forget God.  Our focus creeps back to us.  I heard someone say this past week that, in a sense, that’s why we’re made to worship God.  If we do not worship Him, we will worship ourselves and our accomplishments and take satisfaction in what we have built.    There is no greater depth of satisfaction than to follow and obey God.  He keeps life exciting.