Faith on the Frontstretch: Thankfulness in Victory Lane

Credit: Debbie Ross for
Skirts and Scuffs
Welcome to Faith on the Frontstretch, an exclusive Skirts and Scuffs column where Beth Bence Reinke shares insights about racing and faith. “...and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b

When something really good happens in your life, what do you do first? Call a friend? Do a happy dance? Post about it on Facebook or Twitter?

Winning a race is a pretty good thing. What does a NASCAR driver do first when he wins? An adrenaline-charged display of excitement through donuts and smoke – a burnout! Next is a joyful celebration in Victory Lane, as he climbs from his car, grinning and spraying a drink in all directions. In the post-race interview, the driver thanks his team and sponsors, and perhaps a family member. Once in a while, a driver will express gratitude to God for blessing him with a win.

I love hearing racing folks give credit to God for their successes. Several examples come to mind:
* Just seconds after Kyle Busch crossed the finish line to clinch the 2009 Nationwide series championship, Joe Gibbs gathered his team in a circle on pit road and prayed.
* Last October, Jamie McMurray thanked God in his Victory Lane interview after winning at Charlotte.
* This year, Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne talked about the power of God.

When these drivers and teams gave God credit, it showed humility and thankful hearts. Being humble doesn’t mean we’re dumb or incapable or helpless. It is simply an awareness that every blessing comes from God. So when something good happens, we WANT to thank Him first. Being grateful fills us with wonder at how big God is.

Each time I see a driver or team owner thank God for His blessings, it warms my heart. Then it makes me look closely at my own attitude. When good things come, do I thank God first? There is a sobering story in the Bible about a time Jesus healed ten sick men (Luke 17:11-19) and only one remembered to say “thank you.” That man showed genuine appreciation by acknowledging the source of his newly-found health. The other nine were in a hurry to tell their loved ones and get on with their lives. They received a life-changing gift and still forgot to say “thank you.” Yikes.

When something good happens to me, I want to be a person who thanks God first. But how can I cultivate that attitude of gratitude so it becomes second nature? Perhaps the key to being constantly thankful is to write or type a list of my blessings, and add to it each day. Looking at the growing list can keep me mindful of how much God has given me. Then next time something good comes my way, I’ll be more likely to remember to thank Him first.

How about you? Are you ready to make a list of your “victories” and thank God for them? Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. ~ Colossians 4:2

Want to read more racing devotions? When you donate $25 or more to Skirts and Scuffs, we’ll send you a complimentary copy of Beth’s book, Race Fans’ Devotions to Go. See you on the frontstretch!

Beth Bence Reinke is the author of Race Fans’ Devotions to Go, a devotional book geared toward female racing fans. Her column for Skirts and Scuffs is called “Faith on the Frontstretch” and explores the role of faith in motorsports. To read more of Beth’s posts, click on her name on the Skirts and Scuffs home page. Feel free to leave a comment on this post or reach her via twitter @bbreinke.
Faith on the Frontstretch: Thankfulness in Victory Lane Faith on the Frontstretch: Thankfulness in Victory Lane Reviewed by Beth Reinke on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 Rating: 5