On May 17, 1996, I lost one of my best friends, Scott Brayton, in a racing accident during practice at the Indianapolis 500. Scott, who just a few days earlier had become the ninth driver to win back-to-back pole positions at the Brickyard with a record run, was driving a teammate’s car for about twenty-five laps when a faulty tire on his race car disintegrated. He had just entered turn two and was driving at more than 230 miles per hour. When the tire exploded, the metal rim hit the hot, oily surface of the track and his car slid like it was on ice. His vehicle spun and hit the outside retaining wall at a G-force beyond what the human body could endure.
At the age of thirty-seven, Scott Brayton died.
Regardless of how tightly Scott held onto the steering wheel of his race car, because one of his four tires was bad, he was destined for death. When his car hit the wall, the steering column was broken from the front axle. For me, this represented a picture of the vertical being torn from the horizontal. The same is true for us.
Regardless of how tight we hold on to the steering wheel of our lives, if we hold back just one of the four chambers of our hearts, then we will break apart the vertical from the horizontal. If we do not choose, do not think, do not pray, do not want full surrender, then we will not live in the sweet spot where our vertical relationship with God intersects with our horizontal relationships with others. Consequently, we will never experience restorative change to authenticity. Instead, we will encounter relational wreckage and death.
Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Are you experiencing relational wreckage? Perhaps it is time for you to wave the white flag of full surrender to Christ, offering him the steering wheel of your life, and allowing Him to restore the vertical with the horizontal.
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