Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Faith on the Frontstretch: Until the white flag flies

The Chase for the Sprint Cup. Is anything more important?
Credit: Beth Bence Reinke for Skirts and Scuffs  
“...and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b

For us diehard NASCAR fans, it's easy to get caught up in the championship sentiments. If Johnson wins, some folks will be unhappy. If Brad Keselowski wins, a different bunch of fans will be bummed. Lots of others are already disappointed for their drivers who are no longer in the running.

Every race fan wants his or her driver to win, so those are all legitimate emotions. But when we’re enthusiastic about a certain driver, team or candidate, there is bound to be a letdown at some point. Whether it’s at an elementary school track meet, a NASCAR event or a presidential election, only one person wins that kind of race.

On the flip side, maybe we need to invest more of our passion, energy and hopes a little closer to home. The truth is, each of us has a personal race of life, and none of us knows how many laps are left to run.

A high school friend of mine was killed in a car accident last week. He was an amazing guy who loved his family and adventure and a dog named Blue. He risked his life piloting military helicopters to help keep our country safe. But what I will remember most about him is that he loved people. No matter your politics or other affiliation in life, he gifted you with a big smile and a bigger hug. He ran his race of life to the fullest and he knew Who was in charge.

When someone who seems larger-than-life dies, it is sobering for those who remain. It makes us think about our own mortality and examine how we’re spending our days.

There is a much more at stake in this life than stock car races and presidential elections. What is at stake for you? Your legacy. Your soul. That’s some serious stuff.

Fast forward your life to your deathbed. At that point in time, what will really matter? Will you reflect on who won the Sprint Cup championship in 2012? Will you stew over who sits in the Oval Office? As the white flag comes out on your last lap, what will you be thinking about?

No matter who is the Sprint Cup champion, God is still on His throne. No matter who won the election, Jesus Christ is still the King. No matter who wins whatever in the future, each of us still has a personal race to run. And we don’t know how many laps there are to go.

The Bible tells us the most important team orders for life: #1 Love God. #2 Love other people.

Instead of wasting energy throwing barbs at the other guys in the race, maybe it’s time to take stock of our own hearts and lives. How is your race of life going? Do you adore God? Are you loving on people? Until the white flag flies, I need to do a better job on both counts. How about you?

One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ‘This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”     ~ Matthew 22:35-39
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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, a month-long, pocket-sized devotional book for female racing fans.

“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. See you on the Frontstretch!

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