When I woke up today, the last thing I honestly wanted to do was reflect on points in my life that had come and gone. However, I was reminded by an awesome colleague and even better friend of this:
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” -Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV)
It really resonated with me because of something my driving instructor at Exotics Racing in Las Vegas said to me. He said that he wouldn’t have been telling me I was doing good things if I hadn’t been. For a long time, people telling me I had been doing things well just to be nice. Brandon, my instructor, also said that he had been around way too long to tell people constructive things for the sake of being constructive. Looking back at it all now, it really makes me wonder just when I had been doing good things or just being told I was doing good things. However, that is something for another day.
What I really wanted to get off my chest is that we seem to only really encourage or impart words of affirmation only when we’re on the journey. We feel that the need to encourage one another only has punch when we’re about to do something important, risky, or unknown to us. I can agree that those three instances can be critical when it comes to being encouraging. However, it is disheartening to see it practically in only those three instances.
“For the most part, we have to work on small things right now. So, if we’re having to work on small things after six laps, that’s pretty good. It’s a car you don’t know. It’s a track you don’t know. It’s a driving style you don’t know. After six laps of doing pretty good… getting to where you’re working on small things, I think that’s pretty good, right?” -Brandon, my instructor
Halfway into the experience and to have this spoken to me by an experienced driver was… for lack of a better way to put it, encouraging! Here I am… no competitive racing skills or experience under my belt and just there for the sake of getting to drive a $120,000 sports car… to be told, by an experienced driver, that is what I would need to work on to progress? That’s what we all want! We want to be naturally in a position to have to make subtle adjustments instead of these whopping, life changing ones. All too often, we take those whopping ones for granted because we don’t necessarily appreciate the journey we took to get there.
As I’ve gotten a little older since then, I’ve learned to really enjoy not abiding in being stationary. Just because I haven’t left Canyon, USA doesn’t mean that I’m stationary. There’s always a place to go or a thing to do wherever you are. Lately, I’ve been exploring my faith and what it means to me. I’ve been exploring my talent for composition and creativity. I’ve been lots of places that a car could never take me. But, for those twenty minutes in that Nissan GT-R, I found that a car could take me places that I wouldn’t have ever considered otherwise: a place that showed that encouragement is a journey all its own and not merely just a stop along whatever path you happen yourself to be.
So, as I find myself sitting here reminiscing about the things I have experienced and the things yet to come, I am encouraged. Because at some point, somewhere down the line, there either has been or will be a Brandon telling me that regardless of what point I exist in, I have done good things and those little things will resolve themselves with understanding and application. It’s kind of a shame that at first, I didn’t believe him.
Now, I do. Wherever you are, I pray that you’re doing well and that the same drive and passion for racing and instruction serves you in areas of life that extend far beyond the track.
I can still hear “Turn now! Brake now! Push through the apex! Go, go, go!!!!” in my head. A lot better now because I can appreciate what it means to be encouraged through proper guidance. Wherever you are, I pray that you’re doing well and that the same drive and passion for racing and instruction continues to serve you in areas of life that extend far beyond the track.
P.S: Thanks, JP! As one racing fan to another, “Boogity! Boogity! Boogity!”