Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Faith on the Frontstretch: JJ Yeley challenges NASCAR fans to perform random acts of kindness

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

You’ve probably heard of a “random act of kindness.” It’s when you do something nice for someone for no specific reason, just because. The recipient of your kindness can be someone you know or a total stranger.

NASCAR driver JJ Yeley is partnering with the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation to issue a challenge to race fans. Yeley drives the No. 36 Sprint Cup car for Tommy Baldwin Racing and there are 36 races in a season. So he wants race fans to perform a random act of kindness each week of the 2013 NASCAR season. He calls it “JJ’s 36/36 RAK.”

"I am really proud to partner with the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation as we work together to achieve their mission of giving back to others," Yeley said. "NASCAR and its fans are always such a giving community; I am looking forward to see what creative things they come up with for my 36/36 RAK. Stay tuned to see what I have planned as well. I am giving back right along with everyone else."

The word random means haphazard, arbitrary or not in any kind of pattern. Oftentimes a fleeting situation provides the opportunity for you to perform a RAK. If the person ahead of you at the checkout is a couple dollars short, you can make up the difference. Or, on a whim, you might pick up the tab for the guy behind you in the coffee shop drive-thru.

But some RAKs can be intentional, requiring a bit of preparation. For instance, you might pack knapsacks of toiletries or food to keep in your car, then hand them out to homeless people along a city street. Or you might buy a gift card for a family whose breadwinner has lost his or her job. You can plan RAKs that don’t cost a cent, too, such as raking leaves or shoveling snow for someone who isn’t able.

We all want to be kind, but it’s not easy to do all the time. Sometimes we’re tired or frustrated with the day and just want to take care of ourselves. But thankfully we have a grand example of how to be caring, because God showers us with blessings every day.

When we do benevolent deeds, they usually stem from situations that capture our hearts and cause compassion to well up and overflow. It might be a sick or hungry child that tugs at our heartstrings. Or maybe the pain in a neighbor’s eyes causes us to pause and reach out.

That initial feeling of compassion and the resulting kind-hearted act both originate from God. They’re His love working through us, spilling over onto others. After all, He offers us unending compassion and the ultimate kindness - saving our souls through Jesus.

So, think about what stirs your heart to bring out compassion. If you’re not sure, no worries. Visit the RAK website to get a jumpstart from their creative ideas.

JJ Yeley is asking race fans to intentionally do something nice, once a week, for the entire race season. Will you join him in spreading kindness, one person at a time?

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. ~ Colossians 3:12
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“Faith on the Frontstretch” appears every 1st & 3rd Wednesday and explores the role of faith in motorsports. Comments or twitter follows welcome: @bbreinke. See you on the Frontstretch!







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