Get To It

A recent article in Time magazine recounts what is probably the most important discovery in the history of NASCAR. In 1960, Junior Johnson, already a famous moonshine runner and racer, entered his first Daytona 500. That year Johnson's car, a Chevy, was unable to keep up with the Pontiacs of his opponents, so he began looking for a way to overcome the disadvantage.

That's when Johnson became what physics professor Diandra Leslie-Pelecky calls an "intuitive physicist." In practice, Johnson discovered that his slower Chevy was capable of keeping up with the Pontiacs if he kept it close to their rear bumpers. In his words, "the air was creating a situation, a slipstream type of thing." (I love it when brilliant people speak plainly.)

Johnson's theory was so correct it led him to victory lane. Toward the end of the race the lead car lost its rear windshield due to the low air pressure caused by Johnson. This new discovery, called drafting, changed the racing world.

What I love about this is the fact that Johnson's discovery didn't happen in a lab. This wasn't some guy in a white coat or a mathematician hunched over a calculator. It was simply necessity giving birth to invention. Johnson didn't care about the physics. He just wanted to go faster. He was simply driven (lame pun).

We can learn a lesson from NASCAR. This morning we'll be looking at a couple passages that call on us to seek out more speed. Like the writer of Hebrews puts it, "let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Hebrews 12:1).

The Good News for us in bad times is this: we don't have to just sit still. We are not helpless. There are things for us to be doing. And we are called on to seek out more and more ways to do the work that God is calling us to do.