The green flag has flown and the racing season in the northeast is underway! Well, not without some challenges from the weather. They don’t call it the Icebreaker for nothing. Have you had a chance to get out there, shake off the winter and enjoy some live racing? The green is waving! Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
There are some opportunities that the beginning of the season presents. A clean slate, everyone is tied in the point standings at zero. Anticipation is high. Plans thought through and put in place over the winter can now be implemented. The first few races give us some idea of the direction our season is headed. My hope is that we all see the blessing in the opportunity we have to pursue our passion in racing.
We have come through a difficult time and have persevered. Based on the crowd and car count at Stafford Motor Speedway this past weekend I think it can be said, we are back! Spring has always been a time of anticipation, excitement and energy, but this spring it seems that has been multiplied. Everyone wants to be out there doing something.
I am reminded of the times in Scripture where the subject of refresh, renewal and restore comes up. Spring is a glorious time to see the refreshing renewal as life is restored to our surroundings. For some that is flowers, trees and grass. For racers that is the smell of race fuel, rubber and the sound of a finely tuned race car making laps. Ah, the comforting sound as the throttle is feathered and speed is coaxed, chasing the winter idleness. We feel the passion stir, we know the reason we have returned, the adrenaline starts flowing, and our need for speed is refreshed.
How about the other parts of our lives? Has renewal begun in our hearts? Do you remember the familiar Scripture, Psalm 23, where David talks about how the Lord restores us?
Psalm 23: 1-6; The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
We can look with anticipation for what the new race season will bring, but we also need to look internally and renew our relationship with God through Christ. I think it is always good to periodically take the time and appreciate the benefits our relationship with God provides us. The beginning of a new season is the perfect time to remind ourselves who God is and how he provides for our needs.
This isn’t an exhaustive analysis of the passage but just a few highlights to remind us that God is a part of everything we do and provides for us. Sometimes we forget that or get complacent. Let’s take a look and remind ourselves what it is that God has for us.
God provided the opportunity for us to have a relationship with Him through the sacrifice of Christ; we focused on that this past Easter as we remembered the cross and the empty tomb. The next step is ours, receive the gift He offers. David says; “The Lord is my shepherd”. That signifies a decision David made to submit to God and allow God to guide him. A shepherd guides, nurtures, protects and loves his sheep.
Ephesian 2:4-5; NLT; But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
Before we can taste the blessings and provisions that God offers, we need to first accept Him as our shepherd. In the acknowledgement and fulfillment that comes with that decision we realize, like David, “I have everything I need.” The presence of God in our lives fills the void that each one of us has in our heart. A void that only He can fill.
Having everything we need is a difficult concept for us to grasp. Everywhere we look we are surrounded by messages that tell us we need this or that to be complete. From diets to our houses to the cars we drive, there is always something new and improved that we can’t live without. That’s a lie of the enemy. Why? Because if we buy into that we will never be satisfied and fulfilment will always be just one more thing we need. The truth is, God is all we need.
David reminds us that in Christ we find the things we truly need; rest, peace, renewal, guidance, comfort, protection, deliverance, goodness and unfailing love. These things will provide the satisfaction and fulfillment we truly long for. These things are the blessings from God we receive when we allow Him into our lives and follow His direction. These are the things that make life worth living. Pursue such things!
We are all guilty of pursuing things we want and desire, thinking that when we achieve them or attain them life will be complete. There will always be another “thing” to pursue. There will always be another “thing” to buy. It is when we fail to achieve and attain that we become burdened with the twin thieves that prevent us from being satisfied, regret and fear. We regret yesterday and fear tomorrow. Those burdens prevent us from rest and peace. Without the rest and peace, restoration is not possible. Without restoration following God’s direction isn’t possible. If we are not moving in the direction God is leading, we will not experience the comfort, protection, deliverance, goodness and unfailing love that we so desperately need.
Our relationship with God is an interconnected journey, it builds on itself. As we walk with God, we start to see all that God is and offers to us. Trust in Him, He created us and knows us better than we know ourselves. Invite Him in and begin the life changing journey that allows us to dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support and donations helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.