Shifting gears and making bets
So much of life is about dealing with the cards we are dealt and trying to come up with a strategy to win with what we have – even if the deck is stacked against us.
So much of it is also about flexibility, trusting God and those He has put in our path, and the relationships we’ve fostered. All of these have come into play in my life this week.
My goal is simple: drive Sebring. Even if you’re not into cars or racing, stay with me. It’s the only track where I’ve ever watched pro races in person so far, and it was a childhood experience I’ll never forget. Early this year, as schedules released, I found a driver education (DE) event that I figured I could make happen. I registered and then began searching for a car to rent so I wouldn’t have to drive or ship my M5 down (for various valid reasons).
I spent many hours making calls and reading message boards about track rental opportunities in the area. When the last option of a spec Miata rental dissipated, I called in a hundred favors from my parents and brother so they could ship my dad’s 2004 BMW 330i down to Sebring. (I should note that my mom took TWO trips to Denver and back out to the mountains just to get me the car after they first dropped it off to find the car’s key in my dad’s pocket upon returning home.) I pulled a Texas Hold’Em ace-high flush on the river card when the car arrived Monday, a mere four days after booking it to be shipped. I gained peace and comfort when I found out the name of the company that picked up the shipping order is called “In God’s Hands.”
What wasn’t lucky was the very same day the car was delivered out of “God’s hands” and into the hands of a shop, the owner told his employees he was shutting the place down. It became very clear to me that I needed to switch gears quickly and try my hand at blackjack. In other words, I needed to get my dad’s car out of there ASAP.
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know
Immediately I called my childhood friend of 35 years, Rebekah, who lives in Sebring and knows just about everyone. Not only did she take two trips to the shop to get the car and parts for me, but she has hooked me up with people she trusts who are hooking me up with people they trust to get the car ready. I should admit that at this moment, I still don’t know for sure whether the car will be ready in time. There’s a window issue that could prove to be the “two of clubs.” But I know I’m still in good hands and am reflecting on how grateful I am to have friends and family who will drop everything for me just to help me out for something that’s arguably not even remotely important, especially not to them.
A moment’s pause has me thinking about how the way we live our lives matters. I hadn’t talked to Rebekah on the phone in months. But because of the kind of person she is, she helped me immediately. I knew I could count on her, and I hope she feels the same way about me. My brother, sister-in-law and parents bent over backwards to make this happen as well because they support me in this adventure. I am forever grateful and indebted. But also, I’m trusting the people who are working on the car because people I trust trust them. Yes, there is risk in trusting strangers. But folding here when I’m this close is simply not who I am.
If we’re going to gamble, there’s a good chance we’ll lose
The past 18 months have been ones that have reiterated over and over that there are no certainties in life. I still might not make it to the track. Something else that I can’t solve with all the help in the world could prevent it from happening. And it would be a shame, and costly. But it wouldn’t make me regret trying for one moment. That is a risk I am willing to take for the chance at pursuing this dream. Call me crazy, call me stupid, call me a gambler. I might be all those things.
But I’ll also be darned if I care one bit. Because we’re not living if we’re not helping others and getting help from them, working hard to do the things we love, and glorifying God with the way we go about it. It’s a risk I’m willing to take over and over. I’m all in.