On my way to the race track the other day I saw a bumper sticker; “Do you Follow Jesus This Close?” Of course, my answer was yes. But that implies that I am ready and available to come alongside someone and lift them up. Are we willing to carry someone’s burden? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Racing isn’t easy. There are difficulties around each turn. It would be great if all you had to concern yourself with was getting your car setup for the race. Today we have to worry about many other things. We think we have it hard. I remember a talk given by Dale Inman, former crew chief for Petty Enterprises. His title, “It hasn’t always been this easy.”

He spoke of the days when you drove the actual race car to the track, sounds easy enough. Well how about when the track is in California and you are in North Carolina? Not only that but the seats have been removed for weight; you have a piece of plywood for a back seat and you share the ride with all the tools, jack and spare parts. The motor under the hood is the race motor and you have to baby it for the first 500 mile to make sure it wears in right. You don’t have the benefit of a speedometer and meet with the local law enforcement types no short of 10 times each way. It hasn’t always been this easy!

I am encouraged when I see teams rally to help other teams when they face difficulties at the track. I know of several occasions when parts were lent or crewmembers worked on a competitor’s car to help them get ready in time. I remember just recently watching an engine being carried and installed by several “helpers” when time and space would not allow a more conventional way to move it. Why, because we want to race. We want the opportunity to win out on the track, not in the garage. We want everyone to have a chance to race.

We also face difficult times in life. Difficulties have a way of finding us when we can least afford it. We think we are prepared but we find we are not. What is the right way to respond when we see someone going through a difficult time? Listen to what the Paul says in Galatians;

Galatians 6:2-3, Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.

When we help someone who is going through a difficult stretch, we are obedient to God. We honor God when we sacrifice our time, resources and abilities to help someone in need. Have you ever reached out and helped someone?

“Do you follow Jesus this close?”

I wouldn’t be the man I am today if someone didn’t reach out to me in my time of need. His name is Steve and he was always willing to help in any way he could. He never asked for anything back, he only said when you have what someone needs, give it. His willingness to give and his attitude toward giving came right from God’s Word.

2 Corinthians 8:10-15; And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter: Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. 

Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.”

There are many lessons for us to learn in these verses but for now we need to understand that some of us have a surplus while others have needs. We need to recognize the burdens of others and be willing to give freely. Remember it is the effort that matters not the size of the gift.

So, let me ask you, how is your back? Are we willing to carry someone’s burden? Are we willing to let go of our time, talents and possessions so that we might relieve the pain of someone? I can tell you this, Christ was. 

Christ left his throne in Heaven, set aside his attributes as God and became man. He came to dwell with us and serve us. He carried our burdens to the cross and nailed them there. We are forgiven because Christ came and took the burden of our sin. Paul reminds us that our attitude should be the same as Christ’s. 

Philippians 2:5-8; Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Look back at the first passage we read, if you think you are above helping someone you are a fool, you are not that important. Christ didn’t think of Himself that important to come and give His life for you. 

A man approached me in the garage at Langley. He shared a testimony of how God moved him to get on a train and head to NYC following 9/11. He didn’t know why but was obedient. As his wife and he traveled she asked why are we going? He answered, “God will let us know.” He arrived and helped where he could, he had 26 years of public safety experience. Then he heard a choir singing and followed the sound, when they finished he shared how encouraging it was to listen and shared a story that brought him to NY. He saw a pastor preaching on TV asking for God’s help in the difficult aftermath. The person he was talking to said, “she is standing right behind you.”

He turned to see the person he had seen a few days earlier on TV. She looked tired and exhausted. He held her and explained that God had sent him to “lift her up” and as he prayed for her God revealed this is why I called you here. After he finished, he turned to his wife and said, “we can go home now our mission here is done.”

Take a look around, I think you might be able to find someone who has a burden or two. Give of yourself to help that person. When you do you honor God and are obedient to His commandments. When you think it is beneath you, remember, you are just not that important. 

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.