What Go-Karting Taught Me About Life

Last night Beth and I went out Go-Karting (I'm not sure why its spelled with a K but it is) with some friends for a birthday party. It was great. I really enjoyed going as fast as I could around the track and literally riding on the edge of control (I almost lost it once) at about 40mph, on an indoor track. This was especially exciting for me because I am a big racing fan. I watch NASCAR every week and even watch some Indy Car and Formula One racing. What I didn't expect, though, was to learn a pretty cool little life lesson from the experience.

I was the first car on the track...the 8 car, if you know me and know racing you know I wasn't super-psyched about that. The first couple of laps were warm-up yellow flag laps. I got going to what I thought was a pretty decent pace. Once the green flag dropped I went a little faster. Then all of the sudden I got passed by another guy. I didn't realize I could go that fast so I floored it and spent the rest of the time chasing that guy and eventually passing him...along with passing Beth and all of the girls (not that all girls are slow, just these girls) on the track 7 or 8 times. The rest of the story is, I was eventually black flagged for using too much brake (even though I was the fastest on the track!?) and lost a couple of laps and finished second.

However, the little life-lesson was pretty profound I thought. Proverbs tells us that "without vision, the people perish." If you don't know where you're going, how to get there, or how fast you can go, you'll never make it. I had no idea how fast I could go on that track. What I thought was pushing it actually turned out to be a rather pedestrian pace. It took someone who had been there before to show me how to do it. So I followed him around for a few laps and then when I felt comfortable passed him and went on my way.

So often we try to set out to do things on our own and we fail. What we don't realize is that "nothing is new under the sun." There are so many people who have gone before us, who have blazed trails and made all of the mistakes for us. They have cast the vision and all we need to do is follow in their tracks. What you have to do is decide if you are the trailblazer or the follower. I think we have to play both roles to be successful. You should follow for a while, accomplishing another person's God-given vision and then when you're ready, start blazing a trail of your own and lead others in accomplishing what God has put on your heart.

We are not meant to be the Lone Ranger of whatever it is we're called to do. We are meant to live, learn, and succeed in community with others. Find someone to lead you or find someone whom you can show the way. We'll get so much more done.