The Critical Apex

“I was doing fine until about mid-corner when I ran out of talent.” -unknown

Similarly, Don Garlits is quoted: “Everything was fine until I left, and then I ran out of talent!”

I came to a humbling realization last night in my life; it’s one I’ve known about for quite a while and one I’ve struggled with for just as long, but sitting in a parking lot late last night and saying these words out loud, really hit home.

I know it’s not about doing “things”, yet I still try to figure out what I need to do. And even if it were about “doing” things, I’m still not doing it right.

So, not only have I failed on the TRUE point of the matter, I’ve also failed on my own MISGUIDED point of the matter.

Typing this out just now, reminds me of the words of Henry Ford: If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

As in life, so it is in racing…there are many lines that can be taken along the track. Yet when making the turn, only one, allows for maximum velocity, traction and vision for what’s next if you have properly positioned yourself before entering the turn.

There’s another unknown racing quote:

“Never run out of real estate, traction and ideas at the same time.”

There’s no fun on the race track, if you are just meandering along. Granted, life is not, ultimately, about who got there first, fastest or whatever, but the enjoyment and fulfillment of driving and racing alike, is to know what you are doing, where you are going and making the most of the talent within you and the tools in front of you to do something spectacular, whereby others take notice.

As someone once said, “Gotta work on the nut behind the wheel before you start fixing bolts on the car”.

Suffice to say, I’ll be the first to admit we all, still need work. And I’ll be the first to admit I keep trying to tell people something is wrong with the car.

Scripture repeatedly states and seems to constantly remind me, as it did again last night… Seek first the kingdom of God AND His righteousness. Seek what God wants and right relationship with Him… and all these [other] things. Why do we… rephrase… why do I; keep things first. And it’s not the things… it’s OTHER… it’s not even the right stuff. And we’re not dealing with heavy issues of morality or blatant, public immoral living here.

But as the great Jackie Stewart once said: “It is not always possible to be the best, but it is always possible to improve your own performance.”

Each of us, in our life and our walk with Christ could do and be better. And that should carefully be our focus, as we are conformed to the image of Christ. It’s not doing it on my own that I need to worry about, but allowing Christ to work in my life.

Granted, it seems easier to worry about trying to do it on our own, for fear of the unknown of what Christ might accomplish in and through us, but then we would be settling, not for second best, but for the earthly inferior instead of the superiority of God. There is no second place to God’s plan.

Dennis Anderson once said: “Second place is the first loser.”

My way and your way will fail… each and every time. And it’s not enough to recognize, as I’ve officially lost count how many times I have made it that far.

When will be the day that we are no longer deceived that we are on the wrong line going around the track?

It’s a balanced analogy, because again, life isn’t always about first, fastest, most efficient or what-have-you. But again, life is about stewardship; which requires making the most of our time, talent and resources, which in the racing world, does result in winners. And not just at the finish line, but as those known for great exploits and great accomplishments. Known for their talent, insight and understanding. Known for their diligence, their passion, their contribution. Known for their wisdom. Known for their friendship.

They became leaders in the world they operated. They became legends that their world spoke of for years beyond their time.

This is the parable of the talents.

To the men who produced tangible evidence upon their master’s return…”You good & faithful servant.”

To the man who did nothing… and it wasn’t that he did nothing; he did DO something… he HID it in the ground!!

Stirling Moss put it this way: “To achieve anything in this game you must be prepared to dabble in the boundary of disaster.”

The servant put it in the ground for fear of His master’s response…which in reality, was probably worse than he thought it would be. “You wicked servant.”

It is not for the fear of God that should prompt us to act, but the understanding that time is of the essence. God has determined to invest in you and I that we would accomplish something great for His glory…. as God does nothing halfhearted.

The wicked servant had the opportunity to be called “good & faithful”

Not only did he miss the apex, he did, in fact, run out of our real estate, traction and ideas at the same time. He mistakenly thought the only thing he could do was what he did and his consequence was worse than he imagined.

Today’s a new day and I for one have a critical decision to make. Perhaps, so do you. If for no other reason, than the words of the great legend, Enzo Ferrari…

“What’s behind you doesn’t matter.”

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