Skimming just centimeters above the bitumen at 50kmph with the crisp morning air ripping across your open-faced helmet and your body buzzing from the 2.0HP motor roaring at your back. Every part of your mind screaming, “What an idiot…but I love it!“.
Go-Karting with a bunch of blokes is exhilarating to say the least.
Reflecting on a recent 25 lap race with some men from CityLife Church – Casey, it dawned on me that this was a just like life:
We had two groups of men (we all couldn’t race at the same time). There were those who ran the race first. Cold tires, clean track and no hindsight. The second group could observe the first and learn by their mistakes, their tires were warmed up and engines running smooth.
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me.
1 Corinthians 4:16
It is easier to get on track when you have the hindsight. Times are better, the driving smarter and the race can run smoother. But, going first, or going second, means nothing if you don’t run your race, the best you can.
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.
1 Corinthians 9:24
When we have purpose and a focus, we can accelerate and break through the toughest of situations. In every turn there awaits another opportunity to get ahead. We are pressing on toward the prize!
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Everyone is in the same race – we all attack it in different ways. There are those that go like a Bat-out-of-Hell and there are others that just plod on. The crazy ones sometimes crash and the plodder just cruises by. Regardless of how you run your race, we can’t make fun of those who choose a different pace to us – we may just be surprised at how well they can do in the long run.
You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
There is always just one perfect line through a corner. Just a little out, one way or another, can spell disaster. We get all ‘out of shape’ and ‘bent up’. Sometimes others will cut in and steal your line. It is good to stay true to the line.
You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?
Trying to push through the race with just an accelerator, going flat out, is not a good way to run the race. We must learn to use the brakes occasionally. Not too hard or we spin out and wash off our speed and pace, but always just enough to negotiate the next corner or an oncoming obstical. Coasting for a bit is okay too, but not too long or we will come to a standstill.
“Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.
During our race there will be times we will get into a spot of bother. No matter what we seem to do the crash barrier just looms up before us and we brace for the impact and cry out, “Oh God!“
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray.
Some times we push a bit too hard and we do crash. No matter what is thrown up in our way we just can’t wait to get back on track. We do what we can, and when all seems lost, there is always someone there to help you get back on track.
…God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can human beings do to me?”
It’s good to be always vigilant and watchful. It’s also comforting knowing that when we are headed towards unseen danger, there is someone watching, ready, and diligently throws up necessary warning signs. And if we ignore them, the overseer is ready with the ‘kill switch’ to slow us down or to stop us in our tracks if need be. We take stock, look around and when it is safe to proceed we can begin to move forward again. Amber, amber, GREEN.
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Every so often we look up and see there is a cheer squad of side-line fellow racers ready to cheer you on. How encouraging that is!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
Sometimes when we are alone, no one to race with or against, we just coast along at a pace we think we can sustain. There is nothing like a little encouragement, to be passed by someone better than ourselves or to look ahead and catch a glimpse of those who have gone before, to try and catch up and to bust us out of a mediocre ride.
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Every so often there is one who will drop out of the race because it is all too hard and their race ends prematurely. But everyone’s race will eventually finish. And then we find out who did well, and who didn’t. During the race it’s not good to judge how you or others are going. Only at the end do we truly find out.
“As for those who hear my words but do not keep them, I do not judge them. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. There is a judge for those who reject me and do not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.
You are in full stride and racing well, when all of a sudden all lights flash, Red, Amber, Green. There is an instance of confusion until it dawns on you that the race has finished. You didn’t expect it but the One who oversees the race has called, “Time!” and everything comes to an end. There is no time for regret or the ability to do it over again. You are ushered off the racetrack and new players eagerly enter.
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.
After the race, in anticipation we stand before the Judge and see how we did. The score. The Prize. Your name is called, or not.
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!
At the celebratory B-B-Q afterward, the cheery celebrating lasted longer than the race itself.
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”
There are many analogies that can be seen through a simple Go-Kart race. But, when all is said and done, we can see it was just a warm-up to life.