Like a slow rolling steam train the news made its way around the garage area
at Riverhead. As we were piecing things together questions came in from
other tracks asking if it was true. People wanted confirmation of news they
didn’t want to be true. In the end the state of shock was overwhelming.
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
To say Ted Christopher raced with passion is an understatement. He had a
singular focus and that was the checkered flag. If you were going to do
something do it with everything you have; TC wasn’t there to ride around and
make friends. There was a race to run, he was there to run it and the
position that mattered was only one; first place.
There was another side of TC’s passion that many times went unnoticed, he
tried to instill passion on those around him. He did it in a uniquely TC
way. He wanted you to want the very best for yourself. He would encourage
your efforts, help you with pieces and parts, take time to let you know you
were important, all to instill in you the passion to be the very best you
When he had his race face on there was a singular focus and everything he
did was calculated to have the best chance to win. It may be the covering of
part of his car in the pits or a quick jab to cause you to question your
ability or equipment. If he could beat you in the garage that was part of
the battle. “Keep smiling, people will wonder what you are up to.” That was
TC, an effervescent smile, a spring in his step and enjoying every minute of
being at the track.
That is until it was time to race, the smile turned to a determined look
that can only be described as intimidating. As one relayed a story of
starting side by side with TC. He turned to TC with the intent of wishing
him Luck. TC responded by waving without all his fingers and ran him down
into the grass. As I thought about what might be going through TC’s head I
thought. “This is a race, we are here to race, no friends, no prisoners,
wake up you #@$!%^* and run this race to win.” TC’s unique way of
encouraging you to do your very best.
As I spoke at Chapel I would not know how true my words would prove to be.
“We do not have any part in our birth, the decision is not ours. The other
end of life is the same, we do not know the number of our days. We do not
know when we will be called home. So unlike a race where the beginning and
the end is determined. You can plan a strategy. You can manage your
resources. Life affords us no such opportunity.”
We are left with one day, this day and sometimes we are not even given
the entire day. That is where the shock comes in. We always think there will
be a tomorrow. We always think we will have time to make adjustments. That
is not a guarantee. We have to live life with the understanding that this
may be our final moments. Let me implore you not to waste even a moment.
Live as if today is the day you say goodbye.
James 4: 13-16; nlt
Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town
and will stay there a year.
We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life
will be like tomorrow?
Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.
What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this
Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such
boasting is evil.
We can learn from the passion TC put
into everything he did, there was no doubt that he lived. He packed
everything he could into every opportunity. He would stretch every minute,
fill every second, many times arriving in a nick of time only to say “what
are you waiting for, I’m here, let’s go!”
He also had a soft spot for some things, ice cream to be exact. He would
stop in the middle of the road to cross over to get one. He raced the pace
car from NHMS to Arnie’s. It is said you never want to see TC in your
rearview mirror. Going to the ice cream store was no different although he
didn’t use the three tap rule. I could see this little white Honda revving
up, getting very close, and looking for a way around. Does this guy want to
race? In a flash a lane opened and he was by me only to swing into the
parking lot, hop out and say beat you!
TC was fun loving, passionate, a full of life persona. You knew when he
was “in the building”. He imposed on each one he competed with and against,
you better bring your best. He raised the bar. He was after all the standard
by which driving talent was measured.
As is the case for some he was totally different away from the track. I
have only the stories and testimonies of others to know that side of TC. I
never had the chance to interact with TC much away from the track. I am
impressed by the love, compassion, and heartfelt caring that he showed his
family, his friends and others. He truly used his time here to touch many.
Where do we go from here? How do we fill the void left by his absence?
“Regret over yesterday and fear of tomorrow are the twin thieves that rob
We need to relish the moment.
Psalm 118:44; This is the day the Lord has
made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead; swim more rivers,
climb more mountains,
kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot
Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must
be lived as we go along.”
Until next time, remember God loves you
and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful
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Numbers 6:24-26 "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord
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May God always Bless you, everyday in everyway. Rev. Don
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