Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Faith on the Frontstretch: Truex Jr. Calls Winning at Chicagoland a “Total Team Effort”

Martin Truex Jr. celebrates with his team at Chicagoland, Sept. 18, 2016.
Credit: Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images  
“ ... and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” ~ Hebrews 12:1b

The first Chase race of 2016 is history with Martin Truex Jr. taking home not only the checkered flag, but also a fun Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle trophy. In several post-race interviews, Truex Jr. was quick to deflect applause from himself to his entire team.

“There are so many people who are responsible for this,” he said. “And I’m glad I get to drive this 78 with Cole Pearn (crew chief) and everybody on this team.” He thanked the fans, his sponsors, team owner Barney Visser, Toyota Racing Development, partner Joe Gibbs Racing and people behind the scenes, too.

“All in all, just an unbelievable day,” Truex Jr. said. “It was a total team effort. That’s what it’s going to take to win the championship.”

His comments aren’t unique because NASCAR racing is always a team effort. When every team member is on the same wavelength and working wholeheartedly in his or her role, things click into place. The group accomplishes feats that would be impossible for individual members to do on their own. In fact, if the No. 78 team had been missing the contribution of even a single member — an engineer, a tire changer, a mechanic — it could have thwarted their efforts and changed the race outcome.

There are other places where people work together to make an organization run smoothly — families, schools, our military and even churches. The Bible makes an analogy between the human body and the church. Your body has myriad parts that work together, and so does the church.

Our bodies have many parts, but the many parts make up only one body when they are all put together. So it is with the “body” of Christ. Each of us is a part of the one body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13, TLB)

That last phrase, “body of Christ,” means the church — the people of the church, not the brick-and-mortar building. Each person is an essential, unique “body part” of the church family. Each person has a specific role or two to fill, just like crew members on a race team. One may teach Sunday School or help with the youth group. Another might design the church website, visit church members who are sick or organize a food pantry.

Sometimes there’s a special job to do at a church, and no one has the distinct abilities that are required. Could it be that God is calling someone else to join the church team and fulfill that role?

The No. 78 team combined their talents to produce a fast car and a winning strategy. Likewise, church folks team up to serve God by loving other people. And while only a select few live and work on the NASCAR circuit, everyone can connect at a local church.

Churches in your community are full of like-minded people who would welcome you. What if you are the missing team member who’s needed to do an extraordinary thing? No matter what you enjoy doing, there’s a way you can serve.

Are you ready to take part in a “total team effort” at church? God has a special starting spot waiting just for you.

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them... ~ Romans 12:4-6a (RSV)
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“Faith on the Frontstretch” explores the role of faith in motorsports and runs every 1st & 3rd Wednesday of the month during the NASCAR season. Follow Beth on twitter at @bbreinke.

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 NASCAR fans. Or you can purchase the book in paperback & ebook here.

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