Are you in a season where nothing seems to be going right and where the heavens appear closed for business? In your
mind, does God seem to be on vacation while His high profile managers who mind the store, are too busy taking care of other
folks that appear to have more access to Him than you?
The Word of God declares in Genesis 8:22
While the Earth remains, seedtime and harvest time, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease.
Seedtime and Harvest revolve around seasons each distinct in their own way, with their own purposes to fulfill. Each
has their own determined time. For all you Nascar fans, let me share this parable.
Seasons are like laps in a race, and they flow into each other as naturally as a well-tuned race car
is supposed to run on a track. If we are in the race, our awareness of where we are and what our position is on the track
is essential to adjusting our strategy to win. An attentive driver depends on his pit crew for guidance and direction in the
race. He pays careful attention to the crew chiefs instructions and warnings about any hazards on the track. A wise driver pulls in for pit stops as issued by the crew chief
for adjustments to the car, or for tire changes or adjustments in pressure or fuel. If the car doesn’t seem to feel
right or isn’t performing the way it should, a driver with experience pulls the car into the pit for adjustments or
repairs even if he is leading the race. He does this so he can to stay in the race rather than chancing it for a few extra
laps so risking, his ability to stay in the race.
Obviously, a driver with the skill of a mechanic is going to have an advantage over a driver without any mechanic
skill. Why? The driver with the skill of a mechanic understands the limits of what the car can and cannot do. A car may look
awesome on the exterior but, it’s what’s under the hood that determines whether or not it can win the race. Spiritually
speaking, you could say the engine under the hood is like the hidden man of the heart.
We can be attentive wise drivers, we can even be experienced drivers in our own eyes, yet if under the hood lies
a weak, out of tune engine, we will not keep up with the seasons or laps on the track of our own lives. I have lately been
colliding with other drivers on the track of life that seemingly have no sense of their place in the race. The car is smoking,
the tires are worn and the headset is shorted out. Fuel, as well as morale is low. They don’t know what their position
is in the race, and they’re all wondering, “Where is the crew chief?” I know I started this race with a
game plan and a strategy to win. I had a good pit crew that seemed to really care. When the race started, the car seemed to
be running right but now, things don’t seem to be going right. Maybe my luck has worn off. Where the heck is my crew
These people tell me, “He’s not communicating”.
When things were going well, they would profess, “He’s the guy with all the answers. He built the car
and knows the layout of the track. He’s always steered me away from the hazards on the track and seems to keep it all
together. Hey! If I drive and he directs, things are supposed to work out beneficial to us both, right?”
That final statement is the one I wish they were saying. Because they’ve stopped taking his instructions, these
ignorant and desperate divers have wrecked so many times and been involved in so many collisions, the Crew Chief is no longer
a factor for them because they no longer trust Him. Oh, they know He’s in the pit, they just think He’s busy eating
ice cream or doing something other than helping them win the race. These adolescent believers have disregarded his instruction
and taken His ability for granted. Winning the race their way, has taken priority over patient pacing under his direction.
They’re thinking, “Hey, I’m the guy driving this car. He can’t possibly see things the way I see them.
Hey! It’s my hands on this steering wheel, not His. I’m the one who has to avoid all the stuff on the track when
there is a wreck.” “I’m the one who has to deal with all the fatigue, the disappointments, the losses, the
loneliness, the anger, and the dissolution, the depression, the, the, and the. What could he possibly do now to help me win?
I’ve been doing this for quite a while now and I’m not a little kid any more! When am I going to get out from
under his shadow and establish myself as my own man? I’m a good driver too. I’ve won a few and when am I going
to get mine! When is Dad going to tell me it’s my season to win?”
Do you see my little point? A lot of God’s kids are having a major temper tantrum. The engine under the hood
is sick. The car is being driven by a driver with no mechanical experience and the boundaries and limitations are unknown
to them. Not enough time was spent with dad before each race. Dad just happens
to be, The Crew Chief.
Just sitting in the car and revving the engine doesn’t qualify one as a skilled driver. Just because were familiar
with the business of racing cars (religion) or the sights and sounds of a race track (church) doesn’t mean were qualified
(equipped). Sometimes, being too familiar with all that racing is causes stagnancy in our attitude and makes us lose our edge
(authority) for winning the race. We become out of place on the track.
Familiarity causes a complacency of heart. With an expectation
of hope, change and forward motion allows the seasons in our lives to produce what should naturally happen in their time.
Snow does not fall in the summer. No
one expects it to either.
If you’re getting what’s uncommon for the season, then maybe it’s time for a real pit stop. The
familiarity of all that racing is and does could be compared with the church world. Organized Christianity, high powered and
high hyped, allows believers to become too complacent and comfortable on the track of life. All too often, the church house
is what people believe to be, “the pit stop”. It could very well be the place where the racing crew hangs out
and talks shop. That’s O.K. But, that is not where The Crew Chief lives. We can get together and compare notes and strategies
about the race and have some great fellowship in the process. We can study the course and ask how to get to race day, but
if we no longer honestly trust The Crew Chief who holds it all together, aren’t we just looking for another blow out
in turn 4.
Metaphorically speaking, The Crew Chief is God. He’s our Daddy. He lives inside us! He has won every race He’s
ever entered. He has never lost but lately, He’s been getting bad press! I hear it from a lot of the folk I’m
seeing out on the track.
“Where is God? He’s too busy for me. I’m too busy for Him. He and I, we got an understanding. He
doesn’t talk to me and He doesn’t care! I tried that and it doesn’t work, and so on.” Familiarity
causes us to act like Samson did after his pit stop with Delilah. The Word says, Samson shook himself as before, but he
did not know or wasn’t aware that the Spirit of the Lord had left him. He thought that if he continued to act like
he always did, he would experience the power of God in his life as before even though he was doing things that did not honor
Him. All too often when we pursue winning the race our way instead of Gods way, we run into things on the track we’ve
not encountered before. We are bewildered at what we encounter because we believe the adjustments we made due to the pain
of past experiences from missing God; that those adjustments we made, should have kept us from putting our car into the wall
again. But, we only made our adjustments in the flesh.
We didn’t make our adjustments according to His wisdom or righteousness. We made them according to the arm
of the flesh, not the power of His spirit. Why? Because we relied on our past experiences instead of Gods perspective.
God’s perspective is His Word. His Word is the wrench that fine tunes the engines of our hearts to run the
race lawfully in the Light. Not on a dark track.
God’s love is the oil that reduces the friction that keeps our relationships from wearing out and reminds us
that we are His sons, built for speed and winning.
God’s grace produces the patience to pace ourselves to win the race and empowers us to remain at the wheel even
when we are fatigued. It encourages us to come in for the needed pit stop without fear of losing our leadership position.
God’s anointing gives us the ability to run the race with wisdom and vision in the presence of hazards and
cautions on the track.
God’s faith allows us to see ourselves as the sons
we are, and frees us from the temptation to compete with Him because we realize we are already like Him in the Spirit. We
no longer try to earn His love. We simply accept it and live in it.
Continued in The Bruised Reed