Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Faith on the Frontstretch: Mayberry Moments

Photo by Beth Bence Reinke
“...and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b

I love the charm of early July in the country. Queen Anne’s lace and cornflowers flank the roadsides. Pick-your-own strawberries are dwindling, but blueberries and sweet corn are almost ready. Folks spread out blankets and lawn chairs to watch the local fireworks. Funny thing is, no matter how many “oohs” and “ahhs” the fireworks generate, we always lament that they're over too soon.

Race-goers may see a few fireworks at Daytona this weekend, plus a special flag and patriotic paint schemes on cars. Opening ceremonies are particularly poignant as we honor our military and commemorate Independence Day - one nation, under God. But as much as we enjoy watching the race, it will be over quickly, just like the fireworks display.

Seeing a race cut way too short is especially disappointing. When a favorite driver or fantasy pick wrecks early on, we feel bad for the team and bummed that we can’t watch them finish the race. There’s that sinking feeling of watching a crumpled car limp behind the wall to the garage, because that driver’s day is done.

So many things in life are fleeting: wildflowers and berries, fireworks on the 4th of July, flawless sheet metal on a stock car. Race day comes and goes quickly. 

The truth is ... life is short. Like grass and flowers of the field, people die. Someday my life will be over and yours will, too. Even larger-than-life American icons like Andy Griffith pass away. But God cares about your life, every single moment of it. He wants you to live joyfully each day creating moments that have eternal significance, either for you or for someone else.

When I read Micah 6:8, it makes me think of a small town character named Andy Taylor and how he lived his life:

And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. ~ Micah 6:8

Sheriff Taylor did all of those things as he cared for the folks in his town. This July, as we mourn the loss of Andy Griffith, wouldn’t it be nice to rekindle the Mayberry spirit of hospitality and kindness and loving our neighbors?

What really matters? What endures? Praying for others. Showing kindness. Making God a priority.

Prayer endures. It connects us to the Creator of the universe.

Kindness endures. It reaches beyond the scope of time and place and sets up shop in our hearts, making us feel valued and loved.

Reading the Bible endures. God speaks directly to our souls through the words.

Instead of fretting about fireworks or races being over too soon, let’s enjoy every blessing. Spend your life creating “Mayberry moments,” – ones that matter, ones that impact people’s hearts. Pray. Be kind. Love God.

For all people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever. ~ 1 Peter 1: 24-25 
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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.

1 comments :

Great article and timely with Andy's death. Loved the pictures. Looks like Gramdma's hill

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