Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Best of Faith on the Frontstretch: Relying on Your Spotter



This week we are sharing a past edition of Faith on The Frontstretch. Originally published on March 21, 2012, this is one of our favorites. 

Faith on The Frontstretch: Relying on Your Spotter

Spotters at Pocono Raceway, August 2011
Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

By Beth Bence Reinke

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

Imagine a NASCAR driver racing without a spotter. He has no one to tell him when he’s clear of competitors on the track. No one to say “go high” or “stay low.” No one to help him navigate through smoke from a wreck. No guidance from up above.
A driver relies on his spotter the whole time he’s on the track. That voice in his ear is a constant reminder that he can’t run the race alone. If he ignored the spotter’s directions, the race would probably end with a trip to the garage. Every driver knows he can’t achieve success without his eye-in-the-sky guide.
On the down side, even with all the ways he steers a driver right, a spotter can make mistakes. He’s only human, right? Sometimes his warning isn’t quick enough. Or the smoke is so dense he can’t see through it either. At times he doesn’t have the best angle to view certain spots on the track, so the driver is on his own for a few seconds each lap.
Having a perfect spotter, one who never made an error, would give a driver an advantage, wouldn’t it? Teams would be lining up to hire that spotter!
Now this may sound peculiar, but I have a spotter in real life. Maybe you do, too, and just don’t know it. My spotter doesn’t sit atop a high perch watching me run a race -- although some days I do feel like I’m going in circles. My spotter is the Holy Spirit, who dwells inside every Christian, serving as a guide and friend. If that sounds wacky to you, you’re not alone. There are lots of people who believe in God and have faith and pray -- but don’t know about the Holy Spirit. In fact, that was me for a long time.
I believed in God since I was a little girl and heard the preacher say “Father, Son and Holy Ghost” when we recited stuff in church. But it took me until I was thirty years old, watching Pastor Charles Stanley on television, to finally understand this truth: the Holy Spirit actually comes to live inside every person who accepts Jesus as savior.
Talking about the Holy Spirit can freak people out. They think, “A ghost living inside me? That’s creepy.” But there’s no ghost. It is simply the loving spirit of God inside a person -- to help, encourage and guide him or her. For me, knowing the Holy Spirit is with me is comforting, like a warm blanket around my shoulders on a damp, chilly day. I’m glad I don’t run my race alone.
Since I look at life through a racing lens, I often think of the Holy Spirit as a “heavenly spotter.” He sees things I cannot and steers me toward the right decisions. He helps me make adjustments, like being kind even when I don’t feel like it. He doesn’t speak in an audible voice like a spotter on the radio. But I can tune in by keeping my heart open to His leading.

Just like a driver tunes in to his spotter for the whole race, I will rely on my heavenly spotter for life. Are you tuned in?
... God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.           ~Romans 5:5

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