Faith on the Frontstretch: Starting on the Front Row in the New Year

Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR
“...and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b

In about fifty days, the 2012 racing season begins. We’ll see fresh paint schemes, new crew chief and driver pairings and hopefully enough rookie drivers to make things interesting. The point standings will be set to zero. Each driver will don a shiny new helmet and snazzy, new-fangled firesuit. Where does each driver want to begin the season at Daytona? On the front row, of course!

In real life, turning the calendar to January 1st is a new beginning, too. It’s like starting the Daytona 500 on the front row. There’s clean air ahead. The opportunity to lead a lap. The chance to surge forward with high hopes. The engine is revving and it’s almost time to go green.

Then we make New Year’s resolutions. We pledge to schlep to the gym every day or watch less television or whatever. But those pesky resolutions often lead to disappointment when we break them within a week. It’s like being up front, hoping to lead a lap, but spinning the tires on the restart instead. Drat!

If you feel like a failure sometimes, you are not alone. Whether we keep our New Year’s resolutions or not, we all make mistakes. We can’t go back and do things over, but we can start fresh ... right here, right now.

If you want to do something amazing for yourself in the new year, open your heart to God. Many drivers, owners and crew members on the NASCAR circuit have already done it. Just pray this prayer: Dear God, I know I’ve done wrong things and I ask you to forgive me. I believe Jesus died to take the blame for my sins and I accept Him as my Savior. Thank you, God. Amen.

If you pray this prayer, planes won’t fly overhead, like after the invocation at a race. There won’t be fireworks or a trophy. You might not even feel any different. But if you prayed it, you ARE different.

Your past mistakes don’t count anymore. Yes, you will still mess up and do wrong things. Thankfully, God’s mercy is new every morning (Lamentations 3:23.) That means He doesn’t keep a tally of our daily slip-ups. When you humbly ask for forgiveness, the slate is wiped clean. No matter how many times you scrape the wall or spin your tires on a restart, God forgives.

As a believer, you are a new person - a child of God, with a fresh start on the front row. Happy New Year!

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! ~2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
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 explores the role of faith in motorsports. To read more of Beth’s posts, click on her name or “Faith on the Frontstretch” 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: Starting on the Front Row in the New Year Faith on the Frontstretch: Starting on the Front Row in the New Year Reviewed by Beth Reinke on Wednesday, January 04, 2012 Rating: 5