Life is becoming increasingly difficult. As we have been talking the last few weeks, transparency isn’t our strong suit. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it is becoming more challenging to truly know someone and get close to each other. At times it is like we hide behind masks. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Playing things close to the vest is saying that comes from the poker table. It alludes to a strategy as to not reveal your cards to anyone. Racers are familiar with not revealing all their secrets. I would expect that teams hold onto the lessons they learned and are not quick to share that with others. At the track you need to know the source of the information you receive and handle it accordingly. There is a certain amount of interpretation required.

I remember the thoughts Geoff Bodine shared when he toured the American Bobsled Facility in Lake Placid for the first time. He was told that the sleds used by the American team were purchased from the best European teams. On the surface that sounds good but in reality, it means failure.

Geoff’s immediate reaction was we will never win, we are handicapped from the start. You see, racing is racing, bobsleds or modifieds, no difference. When a competitor comes to you and wants to buy one of your cars of course you sell it to him, but you don’t sell him the fastest car in your stable. That would be foolish.

But there is a difference between the competition at the track and life, keeping things close to the vest is not a healthy way to live. We need an outlet to share our deepest fears, our deepest thoughts and disappointments. A judgement free zone. 

Social media hasn’t helped, we have our Facebook life, the things we want to share with the world. They present a distorted view of life. It is not uncommon for people to feel inadequate when compared to what others have shared.

Don’t check your social media! It is not a real representation of life. What we need to hear is a word of hope, a word that no matter what we have or what we don’t, no matter what, we are okay and you are loved. Our Father in heaven chooses to love us.

My devotion the other day put it this way; “Yes, you are loved! Not because of fame or followers, or because you are loaded with talent. No, you are loved simply because our Father chooses to love you. Talent never dictates God’s love for you. Your circumstances don’t change God’s heart for you. He loves you.”

John 3:16-17; For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

God knows us and all our imperfections, and that doesn’t put him off. He receives us with all our not so pretty blemishes. We could go a long way toward opening up conversations with people if we just got rid of the implied expectations that others perceive we have. We need to learn how to allow each other to be more transparent. There needs to be more places that we can let our guard down, more people we can be honest with. More places we can just be me, no pretense, no expectation.

Church should be that place, but worldly pressures have crept in and many have become pretentious houses of religion, not the hospitals for the hurting they were intended to be. Jesus explained why he came;

Matthew 9:12-13; When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

We have to get this right! Too many believe they are all alone. Too many people believe they are letting everyone else down. Too many people think that they are the only ones having difficulties, challenging trials and thoughts in their head that they are not good enough. Too many believe that things would be better without them.

We all know that’s not the truth, but it is difficult to break through the masks that we wear to hide what is really going on. The pressure to look right, say all the right things, do all the right things is overwhelming. We hide because we feel judged and inferior, no one could possibly understand.

We need to do a better job of dropping the implied judgement and the performance related hoops we put in place. God’s love for us is unconditional and we have no right to put conditions on accepting others. 

God doesn’t have any performance requirements to be loved by Him. He chooses to love us just as we are. He chooses to demonstrate that love through Christ, providing a sacrifice for our sins. He chose to accept Christ’s offer of his life as attornment for us. We cannot earn it, we cannot do enough good things to receive it, it is a gift, because He loves us!

Now, if God doesn’t have any performance hurdles for us, we should do the same. We should be careful with how we communicate to others. We need to remember, we are not here to judge, fix or change anyone. We are here to walk alongside, support and encourage others. 

God did not create us to live life alone, we are created to live in community. We do much better when we have each other to walk through life with. Let’s take the time to listen, get to know someone and allow them to know us. We need to reflect the character of God.

Galatians 5:22-23; But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

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.