Big Idea

Sometimes to win, you have to lose.

Scene Setup

It is the big race. The King, Chick Hicks, and Lightning McQueen are all vying for the coveted Piston Cup.


Service, self-seeking, Humility, Reward, Sacrifice


As the cars zoom around the track, Chick Hicks makes it clear that he is not going to finish second to the King anymore, and he will not be outraced by an upstart rookie. So Hicks purposely sideswipes both cars. The King flips over and winds up on the infield, horribly damaged. But McQueen, remembering the advice of Doc -- the old Hudson Hornet, manages to keep it together. McQueen has a terrible choice: abandon the King and try to get revenge, or stop and help the older race car finish. McQueen chooses to head over to where the King sits sputtering on the field. McQueen comes up behind the King and gently pushes the old car. When the King asks what McQueen is doing, McQueen responds, "I think the King should finish his last race." The King tells McQueen that in helping him he will lose the Piston Cup, but McQueen says that "and old racing car once told me it's just an empty cup." Hicks finishes; roaring around the track for the win. He initially thinks people are cheering for him, but they are cheering for The King and McQueen. The younger car pushes the older car over the finish line, and the crowd explodes. Hicks, thinking he has won everything he ever wanted, rushes to the winner's platform, "Bring out the Piston Cup!" Then he begins posing for pictures that no one is actually taking. Unceremoniously the cup is dumped on stage. Hicks wonders aloud, "How come the only person celebrating is me, huh? Where are the girls? Bring on the confetti!" Suddenly he is hit with what looks like two rounds of confetti out of a gun. "Ow, ow, easy with the confetti!" Then he says he has to leave to sign a deal with racing sponsor, Dynaco -- but he finds that they aren't interested in him, and neither is the crowd as they begin to boo. McQueen heads over to his crew. They are all celebrating as if McQueen has won. Doc Hudson, his crew chief, tells him "You got a lotta stuff kid." McQueen says, "Thanks, Doc." Suddenly the head of racing sponsor Dynaco calls out to him. He says, "Son, that was some real racing out there. How'd you like to become the new face of Dynaco?" McQueen is baffled, "But, I didn't win!" The Dynaco sponsor says, "Lightnin', there's a whole lot more to racing than just winnin'. McQueen hears his old sponsors, Rust-eze, joking over by their run-down tent, and then he looks at Dynaco and tells him that he is going to stick with the company that gave him his break. The Dynaco man says that he "can respect that" and tells McQueen that if there is ever anything Dynaco can ever do for him just ask. McQueen gets and idea, and the next thing you know, McQueen's friend Mater is getting his life's wish by riding around in the Dynaco helicopter.


In a strange turn of events, Chick Hicks won, but lost everything he truly hoped to win. Lightning McQueen came in last, but ended up winning over the crowd and the sponsors. He put the dignity of the elderly King ahead of his own desires to win the Piston Cup. Winning isn't everything. How you win is important as well. Jesus tells us that we can gain the whole world and yet lose our souls. That's a bad bargain. Instead, we are told to adopt a different kind of attitude -- one that places service and humility above grasping and pride. Following Christ's example, we are to serve others, giving preference to them in love. If we are willing to humble ourselves now, and do the right thing, God promises to exalt us at the right time. It may not always be when we want it, but it will be in God's perfect timing. He knows best how to reward His own.


Where To Find


Matthew 16:25-26

Luke 9:23-25

Philippians 2:3-7

Romans 12:1-3

1 Peter 5:5-7

Video Times

Start: 1:41:10

End: 1:46:21


Serve, Service, Servant, Self-seeking, Humble, Humility, Reward, Sacrifice

Illustration Sermon General Warning

When the King wrecks it is a tension-filled moment.

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