By Rev Don Rivers
There are many things that happen in our life, some a direct result of our choices and others because of someone else’s choice. How is it then that we can have some sense of peace about what the future holds for us? How can we be confident that no matter what happens we will have what we need to get through? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We live our lives trying to wrestle control of events, agendas and the future. We make plans for tomorrow and look to the future, wanting to make it secure. We search for a peace in our heart that will enable us to relax and enjoy. An elusive prize, out of our reach, but yet we struggle to attain it.
Where does that peace come from? Where does that rest and relaxation reside? How can we find that balance we need to make our life fulfilling and satisfying? Sometimes it seems too far away to grasp, but yet it is at our fingertips waiting for us to reach out and take a hold of it.
The events of a race weekend bring our attention to how necessary it is to have God in our lives. Most things in life and racing are out of our control. A driver can have a great weekend going, qualify for the race, things are looking great until that last practice and due to circumstances beyond our control the car ended up in the hauler, wrecked, unable to run the race.
A driver can struggle with engine issues that have plagued them all year. His sophomore season on the tour has been a struggle to say the least. After many hours thrashing on the car, getting it ready to race, turn one lap and on lap two would be where this race would end, another frustrating result.
Another driver, a winner and former track champion, lost a motor, replaced it, started scratch in the race, faced adversity, and climbed back into the top ten, winning the Move of the Race award. Not an easy weekend but persevered through adversity.
Yet another has hit his stride, after refocusing his life and adjusting his driving style he has seen results, another top ten finish, making it five out of eight races he has finished in the top ten.
Every racer comes to the track hoping, expecting the best, but the fact remains we do not know the results until we run the race. How is it that some are able to be at peace no matter how the race is run, yet others do not have that capacity? It lies in who you put in control of your life.
When we turn to God and ask him to guide and protect us we need to expect that He will. The results may not be what we hoped for but they will be beneficial to our lives. God gives us the ability to see the bigger picture, to see beyond the events of the moment and realize there is something bigger than just the race we are running. There is something more important that just what we see around us.
I remember when Ryan Newman dedicated his win at NHMS to Beau Slocomb. Many of you may have never heard of him, he was a racer from Macon, Georgia. Beau went home to be with the Lord as a result of complications of cancer. He was still a young man. Ryan had extended a hand to the Slocomb family allowing them the use of various resources they had. It was a trip to NYC to see a doctor about treatment and it was the pilots of Newman’s plane that went the extra mile to help the out. As Maggie recorded in Beau’s blog,
“Beau, Jessica and I flew up to New York on the Newman’s plane and with the help of Preston and Ted (the pilots) we were able to get Beau to and from his appointments. This was no easy task when you consider we were traveling with a wheelchair, about 10 small oxygen tanks, an oxygen machine and Beau who gets worn out pretty quickly right now. We could not have made it without Preston and Ted…thank God for them!”
Beau’s life, however short in human terms, was a testament to our Lord. He lived it fully dedicated to serving God and putting Him first. Despite the setbacks and the challenges putting God in control of your life will lead you to discover the peace that passes understanding, the fulfillment even when things don’t go the way you plan, the satisfaction of doing your best regardless of the results, the safety and protection that come when we put God first in our lives.
Someone shared; “Beau was a talented competitor but always a gentleman. We lost a giant of a man. I am honored to have known him.”
A Scripture verse is noted on Beau’s blog reminds us;
Romans 8:29; “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Is God with us? Is God with you? It makes a world of difference. It will change your life. Take a step back, look at the events of the past few months, has God been there carrying you through? You may have to change your perspective a little, sometimes we don’t always see the benefit when things do not go the way we had planned, but I will say this, God is worthy of our trust and faith. If we call on Him and give Him control, He will lead us to the right place and provide for us the necessary things that are beneficial to a full life, peace, joy, satisfaction and fulfillment.
God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah and gave us this promise;
Jeremiah 29:11-13; For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
I encourage you to put God in control of your life, call on the name of Jesus and he will forgive you and save you. Turn to God and he will have mercy on you and cover you with his grace. Life is worth nothing if it is spent in the vain pursuit of satisfying ourselves, but life’s value is only evident when we use it to honor and serve God. As God’s word reminds us;
Acts 20:24; “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”
Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.