Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Faith on the Frontstretch: Talking with the Team Owner

Jimmie Johnson talks with his team owner, Rick Hendrick,
on pit road at The Monster Mile.
Credit: Beth Bence Reinke for Skirts and Scuffs
“...and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b

Most NASCAR drivers have the ear of their team owner whenever they want it. Drivers can walk up to their team owner in the shop or garage and ask a question or start a discussion. There is a level of comfort and familiarity between a driver and owner. Their relationship is cemented by shared goals, at the very least, and perhaps even a solid friendship.

Reaching that level of fellowship with an owner doesn’t happen overnight though. A newly hired development driver just getting to know the team owner might be hesitant at first. The two might only have a few conversations here and there. But each time the driver talks with the owner, he learns something new.

He might receive a new perspective on where he fits into the team plans. Or he gets instructions on how to approach challenges. Maybe he learns that he’s appreciated and valued as the unique and talented person he is.

Communicating with the owner helps a driver pinpoint his role within the team and hone in on his specific goals. For that young driver, spending time with team owner can turn his day around.

Team owners are busy people though. They might not always have time to chat with any team member at any moment. Sometimes an owner might be inaccessible for a while. If the series are in different cities that week, he might be away at a different track, focused on another team. Or he might travel midweek to meet with sponsors or other business contacts. But no matter where he is, the owner is the ultimate authority for the race team.

What if that young driver couldn’t connect with his owner for an extended time? After a while, he might start to feel disconnected. He might lose his focus and struggle to figure out what his specific goals should be.

Thankfully a team owner can pick up a phone and reconnect with his driver, soothing any concerns and restoring his confidence.

Anyone can feel like that new, disoriented driver. When we’re disconnected from God, we lose focus. We feel alone. There’s a niggling feeling of apprehension. Then we start trying to do things without guidance from a team owner, which doesn’t always work out so well.

God is like the race team owner, but in a much bigger way. He is THE ultimate authority. But unlike an owner, he doesn’t have chunks of time when He’s unavailable. If you allow God into your life, He will be there for you 24/7.

God is always accessible, always approachable. He’s omnipresent – everywhere at once – and able to listen to you at all times.

Do you feel disconnected, like something is missing? If God isn’t already your team owner, He can be. Start talking with Him. He will guide you through life’s challenges and show you your gifts and talents for service. In every conversation with God, you’ll learn something new. Are you ready?

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  
~ 1 John 3:1a
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Want more racing devotions? When you donate $25 to Skirts and Scuffs, we’ll send you a complimentary copy of Beth’s book, Race Fans’ Devotions to Go, a month-long, pocket-sized devotional book for female racing fans.

“Faith on the Frontstretch” appears every 1st & 3rd Wednesday and explores the role of faith in motorsports. Comments or twitter follows welcome: @bbreinke. See you on the Frontstretch!



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