What’s the most important thing in your life?
Jay Austin did what it took to get ahead and make the quick sell at work. Problem wasthe more successful he was, the more he traded what really mattered. His integrity. His relationship with his wife. His time with his son.
He was chasing things that had no eternal significance. It wasn’t until God slowly unraveled everything that he saw how empty his life had become.
Now it will take a courageous heart and a saving grace for Jay to finally turn his drive into a desire for a more authentic life with God as well as with his wife and son.
In a world filled with cheap imitations that distract us from God’s higher plans, Flywheel is a powerful parable for all who hunger to live an authentic life.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Eric Wilson is the New York Times best-sellingwriter of Fireproof novelization as well as Flywheel and Facing the Giants. He lives in Nashville with his wife and two daughters.
Alex Kendrick and his brother Stephen helped Sherwood Baptist establish Sherwood Pictures in 2003.They have co-written Flywheel, Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and the upcoming Courageous. He is also the associate minister of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia.
Stephen Kendrick and his brother Alex helped Sherwood Baptist establish Sherwood Pictures in 2003.They have co-written Flywheel, Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and the upcoming Courageous. He is also the associateteaching pastorof Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia.
Read an Excerpt
By Eric Wilson Nelson Thomas
Copyright © 2008
Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick
All right reserved.
Chapter One OLD TRIUMPHS
Jay Austin kept his expectations low.
A 1958 Triumph TR3A, with all original parts? What were the odds? The thing was nearly five decades old, and only a few thousand remained in existence. Jay could hardly believe one would be hiding here in the rich farmlands that surrounded Albany, Georgia.
He coasted along Newton Road, checked the scribbled directions in his left hand against a numbered mailbox on a red post, then turned onto the white-fenced property. Sturdy live oaks and pecan trees shaded his approach to a country home and freestanding workshop.
"Must be in there," he mumbled, peering through the windshield.
This wasn't the smartest idea. He knew that. He already owed money to the bank, both personally and professionally, and he had a feeling his wife would be upset if she knew what he was up to.
Something about this particular vehicle, though ...
His life revolved around cars. He owned Jay Austin Motors, a used-car lot, and he'd been captivated since boyhood by the growl of automobile engines and the smooth lines of a well-designed chassis. He still dreamed of the day he could ride in style, showing off his success without having to say a thing.
Success. Such an elusive word.
One man's pride could be another man'sfolly, and a fortune in the eyes of one might be play money to another.
The late-November sun illuminated a wide patch of sparkling emerald grass that skirted the workshop. A black dog slumbered in the warm rays. Jay saw an older gentleman descending the steps from the home, and he climbed out of the SUV.
"Good morning, Mr. Austin," the man said.
Jay strode past the dog and shook the extended hand. "Mr. Herr?"
"Good to meet you, sir."
"You ready to see the car?"
Jay scolded himself for sounding too eager. He knew that the moment a buyer revealed excitement, he lost negotiating leverage. Delayed gratification was the seam that held a buyer together. Once the seller located that thread of desire, once he gave it a tug, the buyer started to unravel.
"I'll meet you right there at the garage doors," Mr. Herr said. "I've gotta open the doors from inside."
Jay placed his hands on his hips and cooled his expression as he watched the old man stroll toward the building's side entry. He had to stay in the game. Stay focused. When it came to negotiations, he liked to be in the driver's seat.
Todd Austin knelt beside his bed, an open box of colored pencils by his pillow. It was cold up here in his second-story, corner room, and he had pulled on a turtleneck sweater with long sleeves. His dad wanted them to keep the heat down as low as possible because of rising electric bills.
"Got cold feet?" Dad liked to say. "Why do you think God made slippers?"
Todd always grinned at that. His mom always frowned.
Ignoring the chill in his fingertips, Todd focused his light-brown eyes on the drawing in front of him and filled in an area with orange pencil. He wanted this to be just right.
It was Saturday. A little later he and his mom would be stopping by the car lot, and Todd would give the picture to his dad. Already he could see his father patting him on the back, congratulating him on a job well done.
Wasn't that what every kid hoped for?
Jay stood outside the workshop and heard the sounds of Mr. Herr disengaging the locks. What would he find behind these tall, corrugated aluminum doors? Although he tried to conceal any facial expressions of excitement, his heart thumped against his ribs.
He thought back to his father's purchase of a '57 Chevy. The car had become a long-term restoration project for the senior Mr. Austin and Jay's older brother, Joey. As for Jay, he was a fifth grader at the time, a busybody, fumbling nuts and bolts and getting in the way.
Joey went on to dental school and became a stinkin' dentist, of all things.
Jay, meanwhile, was still trying to impress his father with cars and machinery. When Jay had moved his wife and son down from Atlanta to Albany, he'd even talked his father into investing the initial twenty grand, the down payment to get the used-car lot up and running.
"I'll do it, Jay," Mr. Austin had agreed. "On one condition. You don't quit on this project, you hear me? And you pay me back, in full, within three years. No interest, that's the good part. No excuses. That part'll be a little tougher."
Jay had nodded. "No excuses, Dad. You'll get your money, no problem."
Nearly two years later, Jay had yet to repay his father a dime.
From within the workshop, Mr. Herr pushed, and the large doors began to creak open. Jay helped swing the right door out, while Mr. Herr attended to the other. Inside, a white Triumph crouched in shadowed glory.
"That's it," Mr. Herr said. "The real deal."
The farm dog came alongside, wagging his tail in approval of this antiquated mechanical wonder. The car's wide oval grille seemed to flash its teeth.
Jay found himself walking onto the oil-stained concrete pad, running his fingers along the British convertible's smooth front quarter panel. The TR3 was the first production car to come with standard disc brakes, and its fuel economy was excellent. To this day, these sports cars saw action in vintage auto races.
"You wanna see it out in the light?" Mr. Herr offered.
Jay made a show of looking at his watch.
"Won't take long, Mr. Austin."
"Uh. All right."
"Just slip it into neutral and we can push it together."
"The car doesn't run?" Jay acted surprised.
"I believe I told you that on the phone."
Mr. Herr adjusted his glasses. "That's why the price is so low."
"But, sir, I'm looking for a running vehicle."
"Let's just bring it out here where you can give it a good lookin'-over. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Little work, it'll be purring like a kitten. Body's in great shape. Interior's all original."
Jay shrugged, then pushed in the clutch and wiggled the gearshift. He saw that the black bucket seats had white piping. He liked the low dip of the door and the curvaceous lines from front to back. Chrome panels guarded the wheel wells.
Nice. Very nice.
Once he and Mr. Herr had rolled the sleek roadster out onto the grass, the entire vehicle seemed to come alive in the sunlight. Jay spent some time examining it and asking questions. He stood back and looked for flaws in the body. He saw none. The silver-spoked wheels glistened, and round headlights stared straight ahead as though confident of, almost impervious to, his final judgment.
"I like it," he told Mr. Herr.
"I knew you would."
"The price, though. It's too much."
"Actually, it's within the normal range for-"
"It doesn't run," Jay cut in.
"I don't know exactly what's wrong with it, Mr. Austin, but I drove it this summer with barely a hiccup. I'm sure it's something simple. I just don't have any-what do you younger people call it?-disposable income for the repairs."
"Any quotes on what it'll cost?"
"Haven't got that far."
Jay put his hands on his hips. "Your asking price is a thousand dollars too high. Maybe more. Who knows what kinda mess I'll be getting into?"
"So you do want it?"
"I don't wanna get ripped off."
"I'll knock off a thousand, best I can do."
"Thank you for your time, Mr. Herr. I've gotta get going."
"Okay, listen. Hold on. We'll go with twelve hundred off." The gentleman looked defeated, even desperate. "I've got prescriptions eatin' away at my Social Security, and I need to do something to cover my costs. It's nothing wrong with the car. It's this old engine"-he tapped his chest-"that's taken a beating."
"Well, you're still looking strong," Jay said. "And the car's beautiful, no argument there."
"It's yours, if you want it."
"Mr. Herr, I think you've got yourself a deal."
The older man reached out to shake on it. His eyes were watery with relief behind his glasses.
Jay wondered for a moment if those were actually tears of sorrow, but he pushed that thought away. He whipped out his company checkbook, glad to be helping the fellow out. This was a win-win situation.
Especially for Jay Austin.
Todd was finishing up his drawing. He added the last pencil strokes to the race car on the paper, outlining the number 71. That was the year his mother had been born, and Todd thought it was a nice touch.
Not that Mom was into roadsters or anything, but Dad loved cars, and Dad loved Mom, so it all made sense.
At least, that's what Todd hoped.
He lifted the picture, surveyed his work, and grinned in satisfaction. A few weeks ago, he had given his parents a colored sketch of a magnolia blossom. His dad had cracked jokes about this son of his drawing flowers, then ribbed his wife about the boy needing to be toughened up instead of pampered.
This picture wouldn't get that reaction, Todd decided. Earlier, he'd overheard his dad talking on the phone about a sports car he might buy today. Well, this artwork would be the perfect gift for the occasion. Todd couldn't wait to see the look on Dad's face.
Excerpted from FLYWHEEL by Eric Wilson Copyright © 2008 by Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It is a great movie, so I will tell you about it. I just watched it tonight. There is a man named Jay Austin who is decitelful selling used cars. His wife Judy doesnt like him and his son Todd said he did not want to be like him. God changes his heart and then a secret news agent comes and works for him a while and secretly videos him. He gets put on the news and everything for his honesty. What? Thats not enough detail? Well, I cant give away the ending , so WATCH THE MOVIE!!!!
Books like this are just so much more fillong than the erotic novles that fill our shelves today. I am so gratefull to god for putting good rading material out there like this one.
This is better than the gray series. It is real life not make believe. Things like this really happen every day.
SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME EVERYTHING ABOUT THE MOVIE!!!!!!!
Great book faimly book
God can change people
I saw the movie but I didn't read the book. I love the movie!!