Setting the Pace and Direction of Your Life

"Set your minds on things above." Col 3:2




I had an opportunity to drive a race car recently. Well, actually it was a Nascar simulator. It was pretty amazing. You sat in the seat of an actual full-sized Nascar replica, held the wheel, stepped on the gas pedal and could see yourself flying around the track.

Before stepping into the car, a gracious southern gentlemen asked everyone if they had done the computer simulator. This was a prerequisite so you could learn how things worked. We had and it was a little frightening for me. I crashed right out of the gate, clearly going way too fast given my abilities as a race car driver.

Before driving our cars, the gentlemen reminded us again of some important details like how to enter the track, change gears, what to do if you crashed, and the all important way to orient yourself as a driver. There was a red dot at the top of the steering wheel. If somehow during the course of the race you turned the wheel turn too much and discovered that red dot was at the bottom of the wheel, it was upside down and you would be going the wrong way around the track. He explained that this was quite common.

This reminded me of a story of a fighter pilot. She was practicing high speed maneuvers and unknowingly got herself turned around. At one point she prepared the plane for what she thought would be a steep ascent. Instead, she flew straight into the ground. She had lost track of which way was up and was flying upside down.

After crashing on the computer race car simulator I realized that I needed to go at a slower pace in order to be effective. I did much better my second and third time around, even though I was one of the slowest cars on the track. It was clear I needed a chance to practice and learn how to handle the curves at higher speeds without crashing.

Our pace of life and direction in life are so important.

Are you going too fast?

Are you upside down or right side up?

When we are going too fast and taking on too much it’s so easy to crash or fail to be the kind of person we want to be. It’s hard to be patient, gracious, and discerning when we are going in high gear all the time. Life can be a bit of a blur if we are going too fast.

On the other hand, we can also be too slow. That first time around in the Nascar, the other drivers were warned about me, “Slow car ahead”. I needed to improve so I could go with the flow of the other racers. We need to get in the race and do what we can contribute to the welfare of those around us and the way we go about it is so important.

Sometimes it feels like the world itself is all mixed up and upside down. We do not have a red dot on a wheel to guide us. We need to find our own way. We are free to choose our pace of life and where to set our minds: to direct our course. So many leaders have written about the importance of our mindset. Our mind is more than just thinking. It includes thoughts, ideas, images, beliefs, experiences and can interact with both visible and invisible reality.

There is something that can direct our minds and guide us. Like a dot at the top of a steering wheel to orient you, we have a good indicator as well. We can keep God at the center of our minds and orient all we do around him. We can set on minds on things above. (Col 3:2) We can keep our minds set on God. We can let the word of Christ dwell in us richly. (Col 3:36) We can see Him in his goodness, beauty, faithfulness, and love. This can guide our pace and keep us going in the right direction. With Him, we can make it through. Even more, we’ll find ourselves satisfied along the way.

What is your mindset?

What occupies your mind most throughout the course of the day?