In life we are faced with decisions about how we respond to a certain situation. Learning how to respond is a sign of maturity. Sometimes we respond like a mature adult and sometimes we respond like a little child. Does it make a difference? Sure, it does, acting like little children certainly doesn’t indicate that we have learned much. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I have watched recently the response of some competitors when events on the track didn’t go the way they wanted. They responded like a spoiled little child would. You know the response, if I don’t get my way, I am taking my ball and going home. They run away and hide not wanting to take responsibility. What kind of example does that show others?
There are two choices we can make at the track; respect and responsibility. We can choose to respect other competitors, officials and others in the garage. We also can choose to take responsibility for our actions. Both show signs of maturity, lessons learned. When we choose not to show respect or take responsibility, we regress into that childhood behavior mentality.
Let’s face it, in racing there are going to be good days and bad days. Some days everything is going to fall in place and you will find yourself in Victory Lane. Some days it will seem like everything is going to go against you and the guy that ends up in Victory Lane doesn’t deserve to be there. As one songwriter put it,” Some days are diamonds and some days are stones.” How we respond to the days that fall short of our hopes and dreams reveals how mature we are. It also sets the tone for days to come.
We may not realize it but when we act in a way that doesn’t honor God, we set in motion a path that leads away from Him and His plan for our lives. Think if it this way, good produces good, bad produces bad, good doesn’t come from doing things against God.
Yes, we all know bad things happen to good people. There are many reasons for that, one being, not everyone has your best interest at heart. Most times people are so caught up in themselves that they don’t take the time to think how their actions affect others. When someone acts in a selfish way, good people get collected up and bad things happen.
We can however still honor God. This just provides another opportunity for us to respond differently than what others might expect. We need to remember who is in control and let God direct us. This is how we display the lessons learned. Think of the example we set for others when we respond in a mature and God honoring way. Here is a passage that will help at times like those;
Matthew 5:43-48, “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
We have all seen drivers who drive like no one else in the race matters to them. They drive with one vision, get to the front at all costs. Sometimes they win; sometimes they end up on the hook, wrecker or checkers. But what about the damage and chaos they cause along the way? What about the drivers who are left in the wake of one driver’s immature behavior? Maturity requires that we think about our actions and how they affect those around us. We can’t just run roughshod through life and leave a path of destruction along the way. That does not honor God.
Some of us excuse it if the driver is someone we like. Some of us are disappointed that the driver resorted to bad driving techniques to secure the win. Some just reason it away as good hard racing. We have many ways of looking at it. Let me help you understand something, how you view this goes a long way toward revealing your own maturity level and the lessons you have learned.
Paul, the writer of the Book of Ephesians, challenges us to grow up, become mature in our faith so that we won’t be tossed about, believing anything we hear as the true Word of God. He says;
Ephesians 4:11-16, Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
We are all teachers and teach by example; our job is to build up the Kingdom of God. We cannot do this if we act like immature children. The goal is that we are mature in the Lord and do our part to make the body of Christ one, whole, healthy, growing and full of love.
There is a danger if we fail to grow up and learn; we will be tossed about, running from here to there not knowing what to believe. Think of a dog chasing his tail, running around and around in circles, he only knows what he is chasing when he catches it, bites it and feels the pain. When we refuse to learn and mature we can be led astray by some fine sounding teaching.
We are like that dog, chasing after something we believe to be something else, only to catch it and find it is nothing at all. Then we feel the pain of deceitfulness.
Solomon asked God for wisdom to understand all things. God granted that to him. He then set out to determine what was real and worth pursuing. He determined that the pursuit of man’s desires was like “chasing the wind” and that nothing lasting and fulfilling came from those pursuits. You can read his thoughts in the OT book of Ecclesiastes, here is his conclusion;
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.
We need to mature in our faith, learn and teach about God. We need to have a respect for God that is above everything in our lives. We need to be obedient to His guidance, direction and instructions. Don’t waste away your life living like a little child, tossed here and there, without anything to hold you firmly in place. We need to learn from our mistakes and choose to respect others and take responsibility for our actions.
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.