Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Faith on the Frontstretch: The peaks and valleys of The Chase

Truex Jr. in Atlanta Motor Speedway media center.
Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs  

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

Last week was an emotional ride for a couple of drivers, who went from the highest peak to the lowest valley in a matter of days.

Martin Truex Jr. started the week at the top, celebrating as one of the 12 Chase drivers on-stage after the Richmond race. But Truex’s mountaintop joy plummeted below sea level as that Chase spot was stripped away by penalties issued to his team.

Truex shared his heart on Twitter, thanking fans for their support, then addressed the media, “… I went from feeling like I really climbed a mountain in that race at Richmond to going to be knocked out of the Chase and all that.”

On the other hand, Jeff Gordon began the week at the bottom, missing the Chase by a single point based on race results from Richmond. Via Twitter, Gordon shared his frustration about “the ripple effect” taking him out of contention, and expressed empathy for Truex Jr.

Then with one announcement by NASCAR, Gordon was lifted out of the pit of disappointment. On the day he was added to the Chase, Jeff Gordon tweeted: “Best Friday the 13th ever! Back in #Chase and qualify 6th. Roller coaster of emotions/anger and fans support has lit a fire in this team!”

Now Gordon is living on the peak, in a happy place, racing for the championship. But Truex remains in a disheartening situation, competing for wins, but not the anticipated title.
Gordon during a quiet moment at Atlanta.
Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs

Like these two drivers, you’ve probably had “peaks and valleys” in your life. The peaks are wonderful, full of excitement and energy – maybe a dream vacation or a new baby or other blessings.

Valleys are no fun though. Maybe you were expecting a promotion, but then someone else got it instead. Definitely a valley. Or you thought your boyfriend was going to propose, but he broke up with you instead. Way down in the valley, for sure.

When your heart is expecting a mountaintop experience, the steep drop to the valley can be devastating. It’s easy to let your self-confidence take a tumble, too. Disappointment can mutate into dejection and you may start to question your self-worth.

But remember, a valley is just a set of circumstances. No matter how deep your valley seems, it does not define you. Neither does a peak, for that matter. Whether you’re currently on the mountaintop or in a valley, it doesn’t affect your significance as a person. Your worth comes from one thing: who you are in relation to God.

If you believe in Jesus, you’re a child of the King. Your value comes from the fact that He loves you.

If you’re breathing the cool, fresh air on a mountain peak, you’re loved. If you’re struggling through the muck on the muddy valley floor, you are still loved.

So if you’re stuck in a low place right now, like Truex after his ouster from the Chase, remember this truth: Your worth is not based on circumstances or how others treat you. Your value comes from being redeemed and loved by God.

You matter. You are valuable. You’re a precious child of God.

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. ~ Psalm 36:5-6a (NIV)

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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!

Want more racing devotions? When you donate $25 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.

1 comments :

Good article, but sadly while some in this instance accept their fate as "as in the life isn't always fair column". Jeff Gordon doesn't seem to think that thinking applies to him. My view and others I know. Entitlement, is the word that has come up alot in our coversations the past week and a half. We are very disenchanted with the sport right now, it has been building for some time but lack of faith makes it hard to like the sport.

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