Driven to Win or Guided by Grace?

Posted on 16 September 2018

In Western society, we are so fiercely independent and competitive that much of our teaching centers on drive and hustle. I am no exception. I admire those who unlock inner greatness and continue to raise the bar on life. But sometimes the means can get in the way of the end. I am thankful to be at a stage in life where whatever is going on around me is not as important as what is going on inside me.

When we allow life to unfold before us —versus trying to wrestle it into a constructed box— our lives take a more relaxed and joyful form. There’s a difference between kicking down doors and allowing them to swing wide open when the time is right. This has taken me years to comprehend fully because I am fierce, and I am intense. My nickname in my previous professional roles was, The Tracinator. If I didn’t get it done the first, second, or third time; don’t worry —I’ll be back.

But I’ve noticed as I’ve continued to smooth out the rough edges of my thinking and behavior that The Tracinator has willfully given up the hammer of execution to the blending brush belonging to The Gracinator. I'll let you in on a little secret. Many folks wondered how and why I would step into the role I'm in now. It is a daunting situation to duplicate my father's presence, persona, and power. When I came back ten years ago, I knew I was so far out of my element with nothing in the proverbial toolbox that I had to rely on grace, i.e., unmerited favor wholly. In other words, I would do my very best, but the end result was outside my control.   

Today, this truth has become so second nature that I know of no other way to get out of bed each day and do what life presents. I will work hard, stay surrounded by tremendous people and books, and take good care of myself. I pray; I study; I serve; I work; I love; I receive. Life is now a tremendous balance of pouring out and being replenished that I wish I had given credence to earlier in life.

But we don’t understand it when we’re younger. We’re the masters of destiny, the earth movers and shakers, the creators, the conquerors —and that is all well and good. But there's a much more calm way to go about existing on the planet, and that's allowing each day to unfold precisely as it's supposed to. I no longer go to sleep drained and angry but rather retire in absolute wonder at what the day has revealed before me. Is it all perfect and good? Not even close. But it's a process; it's one day in eternity; it's a chance to do the best I can, and that's all I can ever achieve.

I have my list of things to accomplish at the start of each day. Sometimes they get checked off and sometimes they don’t. But I never reflect at the end of the day upset that I didn't get more done. I got precisely done what life presented to me in those 24 hours. And that is one tremendous feeling indeed. Someday, we won't have the construct called time; but for now, I try to make time my friend and not my foe. Let go and let grace. It's ready to take a preeminent role in your life if you let it.

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  • Jimsey: September 17, 2018

    Thank you, Tracey. I think this is your best article yet, both for content and for being from the heart. And it was just what I needed to read on this Monday morning!

    Thank you, and have a wonderful day,

  • Jim Winar: September 17, 2018


    Thank you for the timely words. In reading your thoughts they sounded a lot like someone else I knew.
    More like your dad than you know, great job and keep it up!

    Do your Best, have Fun and keep making a Difference

    Jim Winar

  • Dale Calvert: September 17, 2018

    This is an awesome article. I am glad I found it this morning. I agree 100% but this is much harder to implement when you have been on the field competing as hard as you can for years of your life. I am learning to let go and let grace in. I am a work in progress, so I so appreciate this post!

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