Have you set some goals for the upcoming year? We are in the habit of using the beginning of the year as a time to change, make commitments to be better. We use this new beginning to set some new goals. What is the goal? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Racing gives us a unique opportunity to put the past behind us and look ahead to the future. A new season, a new slate, an opportunity to set aside last year and look ahead. What improvements can we make? What is our goal?

Goals are different for each race team, but we all strive to be better this year than last. I don’t think anyone says, “Let’s see if we can finish behind where we did last year.” I don’t think we even say, “Let’s see if we can do the same.” Even the champion wants to do better, win more races, set faster times. 

I think the same can be said about life, we all see room for improvement. The usual suspects, family, health, job, finances. They may prove to be elusive but there is one area we can focus on and make a difference, honoring God. The goal, to honor God, might seem abstract, let me simplify, how about if we strive to value what God values?  Let’s just focus on one thing, human life. Let’s simplify that even more, the goal is to not call anyone an idiot. Easy, right? Not so easy.

Matthew 5:21-22 NLT““You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.”

We are good at looking out for number one, but it usually means we mess a lot of other things up, mainly relationships; the way we treat others. It is not possible to focus on yourself and at the same time be aware and concerned about others. Building relationships means sacrificing your own wants and desires. When we focus on ourselves we lose focus on what is important to God, the lives of others.

Don’t fall into the trap of self-gratification and preservation that is not the way we are wired. We do not find satisfaction and fulfillment in building ourselves up, we will never get there. Think about it, are you ever thin enough, good looking enough, healthy enough? No? So what if we stop thinking of ourselves and turn our focus on others? There we can find true fulfillment and satisfaction when we get a different focus.

We can give encouragement, support, companionship, mentoring, the list goes on. It has one thing in common; time. If we stop spending our time focused on ourselves and look around we will find many opportunities to reach the goal. Remember the goal, no one is an idiot. I told you it wasn’t that easy.

Philippians 3:12-14 NLT“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

We are not there yet, but progress is something we can make every moment. Think about it. How easy it can be to value others before yourself. Hold the door, say thank you when served, let someone in line in front of you. Opps! I’m sure I struck a nerve with that last one. Somethings take more practice than others. The kicker is doing this even when they don’t deserve it. 

What are we practicing? Are we focused on the trinity of self: me, myself and I? Or maybe, just maybe each day we get a little closer to reflecting the grace and forgiveness we received from God. There is nothing quite like the feeling you get when you truly care for someone and put their interests above yours.

Forget the past, that is, the last time we referred to someone in a not so nice manner. It is good to remember we are not perfect either. Let’s press on toward the goal. Perseverance can come with many failures. If we got it right the first time we wouldn’t need it. But that’s okay, we learn more from our failures than our successes. 

Let’s set our goal high and make every effort to lift one another up. The personal benefits are greater than you could ever imagine. God’s Spirit in us produces wealth money can’t buy.

Galatians 5:22-23a NLT; “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control….”

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.