Faith on the Frontstretch: Who gets the glory in your victory lane?

Darrell Wallace Jr. with his grandfather clock
at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 26, 2013.
Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images     
“ ... and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b

Darrell Wallace Jr. made history by winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville on October 26, 2013, driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Overwhelmed with emotion, the young driver displayed both smiles and unabashed tears in victory lane.

In his post-race press conference, Wallace Jr. summed up his feelings on the win in one sentence.

“It feels good to win, and like I said, this win isn't for me, it never is for me, it's always for my guys, and without the help of the good Lord getting us here, it wouldn't have been able to happen. “

Wait a minute. Did Wallace Jr. really say he could not have accomplished this historic win without God’s help? Yes, he did.

Some might find his perspective perplexing and ask questions such as: Why give God the credit? The “good Lord” didn’t drive the No. 54 truck to the checkered flag. Bubba and his team earned that win. Isn’t it our own gumption and effort that gets things done?

For people who don’t believe God exists, it makes perfect sense to think every person’s accomplishments come solely from their own efforts ... and maybe a little luck. Some believe even if God does exist, that we’re tiny and insignificant from his viewpoint, like ant-sized humans observed from a hot air balloon or helicopter.

But those who have faith in God have a completely different perspective. We believe God deserves praise and recognition for every good thing in our lives, starting even before we were born.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14a)

First God created each of us, gifting every person with abilities and talents to do things in this world, like sing or build furniture or drive a racecar. Then, as we respect and honor Him, we receive his guidance and help throughout our lives.

We say “the good Lord” because we know He is truly good. There is simply nothing or no one who even compares to His goodness. 

Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens (James 1:17a)

On top of those “lights in the heavens” we call stars, He created all kinds of other good things around us – oceans, gorgeous sunsets, cool thirst-quenching water and oxygenated air to breathe. He gave NASCAR fans everything we need to enjoy a race at home – including eyesight, hearing and a functional thumb to press buttons on the remote. Since He showers us with day-to-day basics we often take for granted, how can we claim credit for the big-time blessings we receive?

Giving God credit isn’t for wimps. It’s easier to grab onto that A+ or trophy or “atta boy” and grin with egotistical pride. It feels good to say, “Hey folks, look what I did!”

When you win in the race of life, whether you praise God or hog the glory for yourself is a personal choice. The next time you chalk up a victory, who will you offer the credit – lady luck, your own cleverness or the good Lord?

How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. ~ Psalm 31:19 (NLT)

“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.

Faith on the Frontstretch: Who gets the glory in your victory lane? Faith on the Frontstretch: Who gets the glory in your victory lane? Reviewed by Beth Reinke on Wednesday, November 06, 2013 Rating: 5