seek and you will find
The older I get, the more I realize how amazing this whole universe is, how incredible even the simplest things we witness are. The rising sun, a flower, rain, touch, just plant a seed and it grows (what makes that happen?), how incredible that we have consciousness to be able to see, feel, and smell these things. How is even the smallest atom is able to exist? Pure miracle.
Whenever someone hears the word "God", it conjures up all kinds of mental conceptions. It scares many away and causes them to stop reading or listening because they know what is coming next... "You must believe this or do that or you are going to rot in hell for eternity!" This language might scare some into joining a religion, but for many it just does not make sense. A loving God that would torture more than two thirds of humanity forever? What kind of God is that? Not the kind of God that I want to follow.
Although we will never fully understand what God is, it makes most sense to me to see God as a verb, a system, a process, that exists in a dimension not bound by time or space. I believe God is the energy and substance behind the existence of every particle and force in our universe. If we look close we can see this energy as life, creation, consciousness unfolding before our very eyes. Surprisingly most of us live inside our own world of thoughts, fears, defenses, often negativity, these distractors are generated by the ego which is what I think of as all of evil.
The primordial ego needed to be strong in the beginning for our survival. We exist now in a time of unprecedented wealth and comforts. The ego's need is almost completely gone, yet it is the one thing that keeps us from experiencing the world the way it is intended. Without the ego, without the need to make ourselves right and others wrong, or label things as good or bad instead of just accepting what is, or complaining about things to give ourselves an excuse, or wishing bad things to happen to other people so that we can be right or better, life would be much simpler and much more joyful, yet we choose the hard, difficult, painful path......why?
We count on external circumstances to "make" us happy; we say "if only he/she would do this or behave this way, I would be happy. If only I would have "this thing" then I would be happy. These fulfilled wishes of course only bring temporary happiness. True happiness, joy, peace, is not found in our surroundings, but it is found within. Like it was once said, “the kingdom of heaven is within you”. Yes you may find temporary happiness in material things or in your racing results and we should enjoy those things, but know that it is temporary. True happiness, the joy that cannot be destroyed, is found inside.
How do we find this joy? SEEK! The universe has a way of delivering what you ask for (if what you ask for is not selfish), “seek and you will find”. If you want to know truth, ask and it will be shown. I have been on this seeking path for quite some time, the universe's energy, God, has lead me on an incredible journey. My path, the things that answered my questions to enable me to find true peace are going to look a lot different than the things that will work for you. All you have to do is accept that there is an intelligent energy bigger than yourself, the energy that gives life, that connects all things, and know that it can guide you through thoughts, other people, media, and many other sources. Then ask for guidance and look for answers.
How does this relate to Racing?
Racing is one of the greatest sports/activities on the planet. We have developed communities that envelope relationships with one another that rival the best societies on earth. Within the racing community we gather together not only to race, but to engage with our friends and just enjoy the best times of Life. When someone has problems of any kind, it is amazing to see the community at work. I am proud to be a part of it, to use it to learn how to better live my life, how to be a better person, to use my God given talents and knowledge to help keep the community thriving.
I am not a typical Christian, that word is many times abused (in my opinion). I do not accept the typical Christian doctrine. My belief and understanding of who Christ is and how he wants us to live our lives, and even what that word is, is different than main stream Christianity. For the most part I believe Rob Bell's teachings and understanding of the Bible to be most accurate. Rob teaches that Jesus wants us to talk about and interpret the Bible, to apply it to today’s culture. To wrestle with the interpretations of the stories. I believe Jesus’ way is the best way to live our lives and the best way to bring heaven to earth. Many Christians turn people away from Christ by their steadfast rules and doctrine, which Jesus preached against. Jesus is way bigger than the Bible, way bigger than any religion. Anything that attempts to put Jesus in a box, to limit his power has to be torn down and destroyed.
As John writes in the beginning of his book, I believe Christ is the light inside every man since the beginning of time, not just the light for some people who have the right thoughts or believe in the right things. Whether we are aware of this light or not, or even what we might call this light, is our discretion.
I don't think we should put God in a box and limit The power. Truth can reach us in many many ways, to limit where we can find truth, or to make our belief right and others wrong, is to limit God.
In the New Testament, there are at least 10 stories of people being saved; none of them were by confessing Jesus as their Lord and Savior, a common prerequisite of popular doctrine to get into “heaven”. This kind of doctrine limits Christ. I could go on, Just read Rob Bell.
"Love Wins" by Rob Bell is a book that tries to explain the fate of every human that ever lived. It is a book that will help push Christianity into the next 20 years. We need to question the interpretations of the Bible and the way it is taught to us.
"Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith " by Rob Bell is a book that echoes exactly how I feel about the Bible. His independent church Mar's Hill grew from 0 members in 1999 to 10,000 members in two years as a result of Robs new Christian way of thinking. I am usually to busy to read, so I downloaded the book from iTunes, and listened to it on my MP3 player. It is a fascinating book and I highly recommend it.
LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH TRUTH AND PURPOSE
Great race car drivers have the ability to be focused. To be focused, all distractions, diversions, ego, all thought must be removed. Your awareness, your consciousness, your focus must be completely descended upon the task at hand. Any feeling of emotion: anger, excitement, jealousy, contentment, worry, fear, all emotion must be erased. Easy to say, hard to do.
Angry because a competitor just chopped you? You are not focused. As a driver you must be able to immediately forgive and forget, not for their sake, but for yours. You must focus on this exact moment, and not something that just happened, even just one second ago. The mind must be clear to perceive all clearly, to react instantaneously to any circumstance, to allow instinct to happen.
This is the same awareness that any athlete has when performing at a high level; many of them call it being in the “zone”. This mind set, this focus, this awareness is not something you can just turn on when you are out on the track. For some it takes practice, for others it is natural.
In the spiritual realms this is called awakening. There are piles of books written on the topic, one of the best being “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. I highly recommend reading it, it will teach you how to clear your mind and how to live in the here and now.
When you learn to clear your mind, to live in the moment without all the garbage your brain tries to create, you will be a better race car driver, happier person, and you will live your life with truth and purpose.
DON'T QUIT, KEEP RACING
Here is a Good Story About Thinking Positively
John is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"
He replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or ... you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood." Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or...I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining,I can choose to accept their complaining or... I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.
"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.” Yes, it is," he said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."
I reflected on what he said. I had left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw him about six months after the accident.
When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?"
I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.
"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter," he replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or...I could choose to die. I chose to live."
"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.
He continued, "...the paramedics were great.
They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take action."
"What did you do?" I asked.
"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said John. "She asked if I was allergic to anything.’Yes, I replied.' The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity'."
Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead." He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude... I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.
Attitude, after all, is everything. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34. After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that her child was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the piano on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle,Twinkle Little Star."
At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." Then, leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child, and he added a running obbligato.
Together, the old master and the young novice transformed what could have been a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was so mesmerized that they couldn't recall what else the great master played, only the classic "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."
Perhaps that's the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren't always graceful flowing music. However, with the hand of the Master, our life's work can truly be beautiful. The next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You may hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." May you feel His arms around you and know that His hands are there, helping you turn your feeble attempts into true masterpieces. Remember, God doesn't seem to call the equipped, rather, He equips the 'called.' Life is more accurately measured by the lives you touch than by the things you acquire.
May God bless you and be with you always!! and remember, "Don't quit, keep playing"
My Life's Purpose
I think the main purpose of our lives is to awaken to who we truly are, to escape from our thoughts, ego, and selfishness. To be the awareness of the universe and witness life in its fullest. To realize that true happiness is not found in material things, being right, or being better than others. This is hard to do, but it is where humanity is headed. You can see it in the young generation. Just look at how far humanity has come from our barbarick ways.
I have come to realize why my life has been blessed with a successful business and racing career. God wants me to help others get pleasure from life by learning about and enjoying this great sport of micro sprint racing. By enjoying our lives we are giving pleasure to God, he wants us to enjoy our lives not just endure it. The only thing he asks is that we do it while Loving and forgiving each other, not blaming each other for accidents that happen on the track, by living our lives in a way that is best for all of humanity, not just what is best for ourselves. Enjoy the community and the awesome friends we have at the track, this is the greatest thing about racing. There is nothing wrong with being competitive and trying to win races, to have that fire and desire in your eye. But do it with kindness and Love. Sometimes these two ideas seem to fight each other, but remember that selfishness and being competitive are not the same things. Don’t advance yourself at someone else’s expense.
If you are just kind of traveling through life not really knowing what your purpose is, I would bet it has something to do with others or helping others, somethign that makes you feel alive. So often we look at life as though it is supposed to be just for us. There is a bigger purpose, overcome your ego, sacrifice your egoic self, “die to yourself and live for Christ” is a way of saying live through the God inside you, not the ego, for the ego will surely die; the God inside you is eternal. Live through and for Christ or God or the collective and you will find the Heaven inside you. It is not just a place we go to when we die, it is attainable in the here and now.