Memorial Day, the start of the summer season; like the swallows returning to Capistrano the snow birds return to the lake. We celebrate the unofficial beginning of summer with wall to wall racing. How do you begin your summer season? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

As we begin the summer racing season I thought we might take a look at one of the other things summer is noted for, rest and relaxation. I know some of us think racing is our form of recreation but the track really isn’t the place to relax and unwind. I think we all need a time and place to just get away. 

Where do we go? If a plan doesn’t come to mind then maybe it is time to find one, get away and relax. Take a break from the routine and step out into the unknown. I am talking about planning something totally different. Every few years we get away. Once we took a trip to the Emerald Isle, rented a car and put 1,000 miles on in a week. Another time we took a cruise on our bike, over 2,000 miles up to Nova Scotia and The Cabot Trail. Now for some of you the miles traveled may not seem much fun at all, but for Lynda and I the journey, discovering new things on the road recharges us. Okay so maybe the break you need is a chair, a beach and no one around for miles. That’s good too. We all need to just break out of the routine and live a little.

God created us with a need to get out of the routine. He instilled in us the need for changing things up. He didn’t intend life to be one long conveyor belt that we run on like a gerbil on a wheel. He intended for us to take a break. In fact, he commanded it.

Exodus 20:8-11, NLT, “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you.For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

He even set an example for us in the creation of the World. Scripture tells us that God created the World in six days and on the seventh he rested, He reflected on all He had created and enjoyed it. If God saw the need for a break then it is a requirement not an option. Don’t get caught up in the legalities of religion though. The Sabbath day is a day to enjoy creation not to work. A day that is set apart, meaning do different activities, and acknowledge how God has provided and blessed each one of us. If you consider it a chore, it’s work. If you enjoy it and it brings you joy and pleasure then it qualifies.

God even invites us to join Him and promises to give us rest;

Matthew 11:28-30; “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

If we are not sure how to release the burdens of work or how to truly rest from our routine we only need to turn to God and ask, He will lead us to the place we need to be. He will take our burdens and set us free. That is what Christ demonstrated to us on the cross. 

We need to incorporate the break from our routine into the schedule. Don’t put it off until the off-season; there won’t be time then either. Make time now to set it aside for a time and get away from it all.

As we close out our series on the words of Christ from the cross I wanted to note a few parallels, seven statements, seven days in creation. Also note on the seventh day it was time to stop and rest. Christ finished his work and then went home to be with God. His last statement from the cross can be summed up like this, Dad, I’m coming home.

Luke 23:44-46, It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

Jesus accomplished what he came to Earth to do and now was the time to return home. He was placed in a grave for three days and on the third day rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He had provided a way for the people of the world to be saved, to assure themselves eternal rest with God.

God desires to have a personal relationship with each one of us. He demonstrated this by removing the obstacle of sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus. He outlined in his word the need for a time to set apart from the daily routine and be with Him, to refresh and restore our lives. Psalm 23 is so familiar to many of us, David recorded what he figured out as he reflected on all God had provided. He helps us understand the relationship God wants to have with us. We find no anger or condemnation. We find rest, relaxation guidance and provision.

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

In the next few weeks I want to share some things about relationships, how we build them and the importance of having a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. For now I want you to take some time away from things, break from the routine and acknowledge all that has been provided for us. Acknowledge God and let Him give you rest and restore your soul.

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.