As you may know the first part of the racing season starts in the South. In February, Daytona comes to life and lives up to its billing as the World Center of Speed. All around the central Florida area racetracks come to life with drivers, teams, and fans from across the country. That requires a little roadwork, time to hit the road. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The last of the nomads make their way around the country pursuing their need for speed. Their pursuits require a bit of roadwork, life on the road. The road begins in late January for some but the traditional start of the racing season is Speedweeks. Sometimes it is not difficult to leave the frozen Northeast and travel south for some warmth and racing. Sometimes the road is a lonely one. No matter, we serve the racing community and where they gather is where we need to be.
Road trips come in all shapes and sizes, they can be adventures, exploring new horizons. They can be familiar roads that have been traveled many times. They can be constantly changing, moving us to find new ways to get to the destination. Sometimes they contain detours and roadblocks. The truth is there are no shortcuts, you have to log the miles no matter which way you go. It’s like a race, you need to run all the laps to cross the finish line. Life is similar in that you must run the race in a way as to win. No shortcuts, no bypasses, no detours.
Paul tells us how he ran his race;
Acts 20:24; However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.
1 Corinthians 9:24-26; Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.
2 Timothy 4:7-8; I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Paul also knows what it means to stray off course;
Galatians 5:7; You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?
Have you ever been cutoff? Tried to follow the right way but ended up in a place that you shouldn’t be? We follow the crowd. I hear the excuse, everyone’s doing it. Do you remember your mom saying, “If all your friends jumped off a bridge would you follow them?” Yeah, probably. We tend to follow the crowd. We justify everything by what others do. We don’t want to stand out from the crowd. If we blend in and follow along, we will be alright. No, you must run in such a way as to win, not just get by. Following the crowd does not lead us to life.
Sometimes we think if we just stay where we are, we will be alright. Will Rogers said, “Even if you’re on the right road you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” Life is a road race, left turns, right turns and balance is important. We can’t just sit there; we’ll get run over. And don’t follow the crowd, they may be just as lost as you. So, how do we find the right direction?
John 14:5-6; Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Follow Jesus and he will lead you to life. He will lead you to the truth. He will guide us along the right path. In His Sermon on the Mount Jesus gives us a way to identify those who are on the right road. It’s not the crowd. It is only those who follow Him.
Matthew 7:13-20; “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
Wide is the road and many are the people on it. We all know that it is a difficult choice to stand out from the crowd. Jesus lets us know that when we choose to stand out for the right reasons, we will produce a good byproduct. Jesus tells us to look at the results of a person’s life.
When we travel the road of life what do we leave behind? Do we produce good things? Are people better off for knowing us? We need to realize that the roadwork isn’t just for us, but it should also benefit those whose paths we cross. Our presence should make a difference, no matter if it is a passing touch or someone whose life we are a part of.
Are we called to make the journey for someone else’s benefit? When people’s lives are in turmoil do they search us out for guidance, direction, healing, grace and mercy? Look at how people responded to Jesus. People flocked to Him. They sought Him out because they knew that Jesus cared for them. They knew that through Jesus they could find the things that were missing in their lives.
When we are on the right road people will seek us out. They will come to us for guidance direction, grace and mercy. How good are we at giving directions? Turn around and look, is anyone following us? I would encourage us to look at the road we are on. Are we running a race that will win the prize? If we turn to Jesus, He will guide us to the right road.
Our trip south involved many encounters, some were hurting at the loss of a loved one, friend, coworker. Some were celebrating a victory. Some were caught up in disagreements over things that from the outside seem insignificant. Some were just happy to be there. Some indicated that there is an exciting future ahead, God has more journeys for us to take! We are happy to be there and put in the effort to meet you where you are and help you along the road.
Where will our next road take us, only God knows and I’m okay with that. We will continue to seek Him with all our heart, soul and strength. He will guide us along the right path for His glory. I encourage you to join Him and see what roadwork He has for you. 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.