By Rev Don Rivers
Thanksgiving, a time where we collectively give thanks. Thanksgiving is one of the biggest holiday weekends that we enjoy. It is a time where we gather with one another and share about the year that has gone by. Sometimes we can get too busy in life and forget the simple joy of gathering together. I hope you can take the time to turn the phone off and just relax together. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
One of the things that we are reminded of this time of year is how busy we have been. How crazy our lives have gotten. How caught up in the rat race we have been. We get so involved in things that we forget about how much joy we get from just gathering together. I want to encourage you to make an effort to gather together, count your blessings and be thankful for the opportunities we have.
I was invited to participate this year in the NEAR Hall of Fame Banquet. NEAR stands for New England Antique (Auto) Racers, a place to remember where we come from and celebrate those who paved the way. One thing that struck me was the desire to be together. The stories, the comradery, remembering the days gone by, but also looking forward to continuing the pursuit of racing. This room was filled with history, the history of New England racing. It was an honor to be a part of this celebration.
Together the racers in New England have forged a reputation that extends beyond the region. Many have come here to race with the best. Many others have left here after cutting their teeth to go on and accomplish great things in Auto Racing. The tradition is alive and well. As I parked the pace car in the pits at The Dirt Track at Charlotte on Friday afternoon a young man approached me and asked about that New England Auto Racing tradition. He shared how much he had heard and was counting the days until he could take it in live, in person. He is planning his vacation around a trip north to see for himself. His eyes lit up when he heard that I had witnessed firsthand some of the driver’s he had only heard about. We talked and I gave him some ideas about what to see and where to go. He left with a spring in his step excited about the opportunity to travel north and experience New England Auto Racing.
We can lose sight of what we have. We need to protect against taking things for granted and not lose the art of celebrating what we have been a part of. We party a lot but too many times we push the envelope so far we have trouble remembering what we did. A true celebration is one we can remember when it is over. A celebration, a gathering together to spending time sharing the things we are passionate about, acknowledging where we have been, what we have been through and looking ahead to the days when we get back at it.
I enjoy a good picnic, nothing formal just some burgers and hotdogs, soda and salads, but the people make the difference. Taking time to catch up on each other’s lives. It is a time to show them you care for them and will be there if needed. It is a time to connect with the past and remember where you come from. I’ve had a few opportunities this summer to spread out the welcome mat, those are fun times.
I am concerned though about how many of us are so busy we can’t take the time to sit a spell and enjoy a meal together. I wonder if we have forgotten some of the truly blessed times we have just sitting down and sharing a meal together. Thanksgiving is one of those times, don’t let the world take it away from you.
The writer of Hebrews reminds us that meeting together and encouraging each other is valuable and necessary.
Hebrews 10:25, Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
The day is approaching when some of us will no longer be on this earth. We will look back on our lives and wonder what we missed. There are things in life that are important and should not be overlooked; spending time with each other is one of those things.
You won’t find many thinking they should have spent more time at the track or in the garage working on the car or at work. Many will look back and see the opportunities missed. The time wasted on things.
I encourage you not to be caught up in the trap of thinking of ourselves as more important than others. Getting caught in the trap of thinking we are doing important things and there will be time to get together later. We will soon look back alone and wonder where everyone went. God created us to live together. Our lives are not complete without others to compliment us. The team concept comes out of the family unit that God put in place. We need each other.
If we bypass these opportunities to gather together, we will soon find ourselves alone and without hope. That is not the way to live a full and blessed life. If you haven’t yet; stop and make it a priority to get together. Remember it doesn’t have to be formal or fancy. Being together is one of the most important and significant things we can do to make life more satisfying and fulfilling.
So put the phone down, turn the TV off, through some food on the grill or in the crockpot and spend some time together. 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.