A phrase proclaiming that, in our opinion, we are winning. Winning is a much more complex concept. The fact is that we don’t get to decide if we are winning, that is for others to decide. We want to tell the world we are “winning” and maybe if we say it often enough they will believe it. Truly winning involves a joy and peace that comes from only one source. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We crown our champions and celebrate the season. We roll into victory lane and celebrate a race won. The driver collects the hardware but in fact the team behind the driver has just as much to celebrate. Without those who surround the driver, winning is impossible. Putting together a collection of people that come together and are focused is the key to winning.

My favorite pictures in victory lane are those where the whole team assembles behind the driver and car. They are wearing a hat that proclaims their victory. These are just the crew members that come to the track, I’m sure there are many more behind the scenes. Winning is a team accomplishment. No one person wins, you need multiple people who look at things from different perspectives to see all the options. So goes the story of winning. The combination of personnel, machine, desire, commitment and performance all come together in a victory. No one wins on their own. No one stands alone. We need to remember that is life also. We need to surround ourselves with support, encouragement and guidance.

When you see teams dominate year after year think about what it takes for them achieve such success. Let me tell you it isn’t achieved by standing pat. It is not accomplished by being complacent. It is done by constant change and adjustment. It is achieved by not being satisfied, always looking at what can be done to improve.

Proverbs 16:27; NLT,Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.

Each one of our lives needs a support structure. One that is good for us, not one that is destructive. Sometimes we need to separate ourselves from certain people, places and things because of the influence they have on us. It doesn’t matter if they are friends or relatives some people are not good to have around. There are places that we should not be, things we should not desire. Giving ourselves the opportunity to find joy and peace depends on who and what we surround ourselves with.

Living a complacent and idle life will not lead to the desired joy and peace we strive for. A satisfying and fulfilling life is not achieved by idleness. We need to be proactive, seeking, searching, knocking. Being idle allows the devil a foothold. It allows our minds to go places that are not beneficial. I’m not sure why social media comes to mind but I can tell you at its core is idleness. We fill our time looking, writing and believing what we see. We burden ourselves with what others think and say. We need a filter, letting only the things in that are beneficial. The world around us is destined for destruction, let’s not sit idly by and watch it happen.

2Thessolonians 3:11-13; NLT, Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business.We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.

The key to winning is activity, being active in the things that honor God. Believe me it is just like trying to win anything it takes practice. For the opportunities to come our way we need to be doing good things. Things that reflect the character of God; grace, forgiving, caring, love, patience. These things take practice, we have to want to. Don’t get tired of doing good.

We grow tired of doing good though. We all lament the time we helped someone and they didn’t respond the way we had hoped. We are reluctant to do it again. That is not the way we should look at things. We should not be motivated by the response but we should focus on doing what is right in God’s eyes. The joy and peace comes from inside our soul not the outward recognition from those we help. When we do the right things we can sleep at night. We can be confident of our motives and our desire to do good. Unlike winning a race with its outward display and celebration.  Truly winning yields peace in our soul, a confidence that our motives were good and a joy in knowing we honored God.

I have never heard a race team say they are fast enough, we don’t need to try and get faster. They keep working at it, trying to find a little more speed, a little more quickness. The teams that win are those that don’t settle. But looking for speed and finding it are two different things. Sometimes you have to look at things in different ways.

Have you ever played solitaire? I do and sometimes have to play a game several times to figure out how to move the cards, according to the rules, until I find the way to win. Sometimes you have to make moves that don’t make sense or are unconventional before you find the winning combination. Sometimes you have to play the game differently to win.

How quickly do we give up when our first attempt fails? To win we need to keep at it, use unconventional methods, and try even the options that don’t make sense. We are called to be imitators of Christ. Remember his motive was to do the will of his father, to honor God. For him it wasn’t about recognition or accolades, it was about doing the right thing even in the most unconventional way.

Truly winning isn’t about being celebrated and honored, it is about doing the right thing even if no one notices, a peace in our soul, a joy achieved when our motives are to please God. We know it when we feel it, winning.

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.