Chaplain’s Chat

The Eye in the Sky

I grew up in a family of Rev Heads’ so naturally I became one myself. I am a Ford fan, always have been and always will be. In October every year there is a major event in the motor racing industry that is arguably the best race in the world—the Supercheap Bathurst 1000. This is THE event, the pinnacle of Australian Motor Racing. Over the years this particular event has had it all—from kangaroos on the track, rocks appearing on the track and causing accidents, heated arguments between drivers and many different weather changes on any day. Over the years the racing has just gotten closer. In 2016 the winning margin was just 0:00.1434s, which is ridiculously close. After racing 1000kms, the win comes down to that miniscule margin.

The teams that participate have many different people all doing their job to perfection—from driver, team owner, mechanics, medical personnel, marketing and strategists. The guy who is probably left out the most is the racing engineer. This is the guy who sits and watches all the readouts about the car and how it is performing in the different track conditions. He coaches the driver in the best way to drive the car, he has to keep track of how many laps the car has done and he has to watch where and what other teams have an advantage. This is a critical role to a team’s success.

You can think about our lives as a race that Jesus wants us to win (1 Corinthians 9:24-26). We are at our peak performance when we listen to Jesus and what He says. However, we don’t race alone. Just like the supercar drivers have their engineers keeping an eye on what’s happening around them and coaching them to make the best decisions to win the race, we have guidance from the Holy Spirit who is with us connected to Jesus and keeps us heading towards our goal (Psalms 143:10).

The Holy Spirit is like a driver’s engineer in three ways:

  1. Engineers provide better perspective.

From their view that isn’t distracted by the crowds, they are able to read the telemetry screens and are able to see the bigger picture. They offer a perspective that the drivers can’t see for themselves because they are in the heat of battle.

  1. Engineers warn and help drivers through trouble.

Engineers help drivers navigate safely around the track and stay focused on the end result. They keep drivers aware of the changing track conditions and alert them to upcoming accidents or delays or a change in the weather. Just as an engineer watches the driver’s blind spots and says when it’s safe to maneuver or pass, God instructs us through each difficulty we encounter. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says that the Holy Spirit helps us see that beyond our challenges now, there is something greater to look forward to.

  1. Engineers may seem invisible to the driver, but they’re invaluable.

Drivers don’t see their engineers during the race, but they hear their voices guiding them on the track. Sometimes it’s hard to see God in the midst of our overwhelming situations, but He’s still with us. Like a driver trusts the engineer, we can trust the Holy Spirit leading us through each segment of our lives. God cares more about our progress than our perfection.

We will make mistakes on our race, but God doesn’t give up on us. God cares more about our progress than our perfection. That’s the reason He helps us—because we can’t win on our own!

-Simon Hutton, Chaplain