Faith on the Frontstretch: Trusting Your Driver

The pace car at Dover.
Photo by Beth Bence Reinke for Skirts and Scuffs

“...and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b

Do you like to go fast? Most NASCAR fans would probably say yes to that question. Speed is part of the allure of racing. But for those of us who aren’t professional drivers, the opportunity to actually experience thrill rides is often limited to rollercoasters, or if we’re fortunate and brave, a ride-along in a stock car.

A couple weeks ago, I had the chance to take a fun ride. While serving as media representative for Skirts and Scuffs at Dover, I took a spin in the pace car driven by a retired NASCAR driver. The funny thing is, as much as I love racing, I’m not a thrill seeker. In fact, rollercoasters and the spinning rides I loved as a kid make me queasy now. Yet I willingly climbed into the car, placing my trust in an engine-powered metal box with rubber spinners and a super-talented, yet fallible, human being.

I had four laps to contemplate the word “trust.” For the first lap, as forces plastered me to the seat and door, I reflected upon the trustworthiness of my seat belt. Truth be told, the ride was more like a rollercoaster than I imagined and I was terrified for the first lap.

As we dove into the corners, the driver explained how the track "rubbers in" during the race, changing the color of the concrete oval. I listened with half of my brain, while the other half observed how twenty-four degrees of banking in the turns feels more like forty-four. It felt like we were driving inside the walls of a giant funnel, hugging the slanted surface. Thank you, Lord, for grippy tires, I prayed. Please keep us safe.

Trust and prayer are powerful things. After praying, I breathed deeply, relaxed and enjoyed the adventure. A silly grin came over my face. Instead of gripping the armrest for support, I wanted to spread my arms like airplane wings and giggle. When we coasted down the front straightaway to our starting point, I was sorry to see it end.

Later, as I vividly recalled the ride in my head, I was mad at myself. Two laps of tension, two laps of trust. Why did I let anxiety ruin the first half of the run? Worrying didn’t resolve anything; it just wasted time and energy. I wished I had trusted God right away and enjoyed the exhilaration the entire time.

That ride was a tiny chunk of my life, less than 5 minutes. But it pointed to the choice we have to make in every experience, literally in every moment of our lives: Who will we trust? Tires and seatbelts and other people are sometimes trustworthy. But the only absolute in life is God. He is always worthy of our trust.

Trust strengthens faith. When you trust God, it builds a sense of confidence and peace within you. Then when you’re running on steep banking or worn tires, you know God has your steering wheel in His capable hands. There is no thrill like depending on the God of the universe, moment by moment. Are you trusting Him today?

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
~ Psalm 20:7

Want 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 month-long, pocket-sized devotional book for female racing fans, available in paperback or eBook. “Faith on the Frontstretch” appears every 1st & 3rd Wednesday and explores the role of faith in motorsports. Beth also writes “Gibbs Garage,” Sprint Cup race recaps for Joe Gibbs Racing teams. Comments or twitter follows welcome: @bbreinke.

Faith on the Frontstretch: Trusting Your Driver Faith on the Frontstretch: Trusting Your Driver Reviewed by Beth Reinke on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 Rating: 5