Have you ever stopped and turned around to take a look back? What do you see? When we reflect on the life we lived we see the milestones that mark out our walk. We see the places of our greatest successes and sometimes our biggest disappointments marked out for us. What are the milestones in your life? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Last week we lost an icon in Modified Racing, Mario Fiore. He will be remembered for the milestones he set with his achievements as a Modified Car Owner. He was one of the winningest car owners in Modified history. His passion and love for the sport is well documented. The Modified community will miss his presence. RIP my friend.

This week our nation celebrates a milestone, Independence Day. In 1776 we wrote a letter to the King of England and explained we no longer need to be under his authority. It cost us many lives and much bloodshed but we won our independence and became a free nation under God.

In our lives we experience a wide variety of things. We go through highs and lows. We have joy and pain. As the writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us there is a time for everything under the heaven;

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to me, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

It’s no different in racing; just the time frame may be a little shorter. We build, tear down, rebuild sometimes within hours not days or weeks. Remember those times? The story starts; “Remember that race where we ….” or “How about the time we ….” or “Wasn’t it great when we ….” And the story goes about how we made it through the trials and challenges of racing.

Racers are a unique breed; they can see victory even in situations to an outside observer look like a failure. I think that’s what makes a racer a racer, they have the ability to see past even the worst adversity and find a silver lining. Competing is the goal; just let me go out there and race. As one so aptly named go cart track put it, settle it on the track.  I think the only disappointment a racer experiences is when they come to the track and don’t get to race. Practice is nice, Qualifying is okay, but get out of the way I came to race!

Racers see the positives in life more than the negatives. Even through the challenging times racers know there will always be another day to race. It is what we do. We show up at each track with the expectation of winning. We are realistic about our chances, but the goal still remains Victory Lane. Who knows what the day will bring? Racers are prepared for just about anything and what they don’t have with them someone else will let them borrow. That is the racing community I know.

In life we face the same challenges, the same ups and downs, and the same disappointments. As we look back our accomplishments they sit as milestones along the path of our life. We can list the common ones, birth, graduation, job, marriage, children, home, retirement, etc.

For racers we might add first car, first race, first checkered flag, and first sponsor. Do you notice the difference? Racers mark their milestones by the first time they do something while most everyone else marks their milestones by when they complete something. I guess it just means that racers expect to do it again. They have an expectation that tomorrow will be better than yesterday. Last is a four letter word in a racers vocabulary and it is not used to remember things.

The events of our life that mean the most to us are life changing events. They change the course of our lives. Christ came and changed the course of history, he split time. He came with one desire in His heart, to provide the opportunity for Salvation to everyone; to change our lives for the best.  He said it in Johns Gospel this way;

John 10:10; The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

To accomplish this it meant Christ would have to give His life as a sacrifice for us. His entire purpose was to sacrifice himself for us. He marked that milestone with three simple words, “It is finished” in the 19th chapter of John’s gospel. There are many important events in the life of Christ that are recorded in Scripture but the most important one is this, he accomplished on the cross what we could not do for ourselves. He paid the price for our sin. We are forgiven because of this sacrifice. We have a restored relationship with God because of this sacrifice. We can live an abundant life because of this sacrifice.

As you reflect on the milestones of your life is there one there that marks the day you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior? Is there one that marks the day you followed Christ in Baptism? There should be. That milestone is where your life changed. You began anew, you were born again! If that milestone isn’t there allow me to help you mark it. We invite you to truly mean and pray this simple prayer:

“Dear God, help me. I have tried and have fallen short of the life you want for me. I am a sinner. Nothing I can do can save me from my sin, I need Jesus. I ask Him into my life. This day, this moment, I receive Jesus as my personal Savior. I submit to Him as my Lord and King. I turn from my sins and turn toward You. I receive your forgiveness and will strive to live for your glory. I receive your Holy Spirit to dwell richly within me. I ask for this in Jesus’ Name. Thank you Father for saving me. Amen.”

If you prayed that prayer there is a new milestone in your life. One that marks the day you were saved from the penalty of sin and welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven. Congratulations, share your decision with us. God Bless, Amen!

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.