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Racing isn't Cheap. Neither are you.

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“What does it cost to go racing? Everything you’ve got.”

It’s a classic line, but there isn’t a whole lot in life requiring more time and money than racing.

This Easter weekend we reflect on and celebrate the biggest purchase in history – the gift of life for you and me by the death and resurrection of Christ.

We are willing to invest (sacrifice) so much because we love racing. My wife and I right now are going through the process of selling our home and buying different one.  A decent contender for a new home was quickly eliminated when we discovered the driveway was so steep that I probably couldn’t back a trailer up it.    Every decision we make is filtered through the “how will this effect racing” process.   It’s the highest priority because it’s our greatest passion.  

Whatever the sacrifice, it is worth it to continue being at the tracks in ministry and keeping Jay in his quarter midget.  Underneath what someone on the “outside” may view as just a sport is true community, family and understanding.  It’s what makes our sport so valuable and why we are willing to give our time and resources to be a part of it. 

Easter is all about value, love and passion.  Despite our issues and sin, He knew there was a great value under that and paid the highest price so we could be in relationship with Him.   Romans 5:8 states, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus’s death and resurrection was because of His passionate love for us.  If we were not worth the price of his death then He wouldn’t have paid it.  If we were not worth love and relationship then He would not be so passionately pursuing us.

We are His highest priority and His greatest passion.  Don’t be distracted or discouraged by lies of shame and inadequacies the world is so quick to hand out.   You are expensive and incredibly valuable.  This weekend is the perfect time to reflect on His love and renew our affection and devotion to Him.  Let this weekend be a catalyst for an increase of Him in your life and in the lives of those around you.  

Pit Road Rumbles

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We are so close to racing! I am genuinely excited to feel exhaust burning my eyes down pit road like CS gas at basic training.  

One of my favorite moments at the track is when all cars have fired and are idling along pit road.  Each engine contributes to the orchestra of pops and revs producing a collective rumbling roar.   Walking down the line of cars your ear picks up one motor but it quickly fades into another as you pass from car to car.

It doesn’t take long though for your ears to succumb to the assault of sound and the engines just become background noise.  Everything normalizes and what was once overwhelming the senses is now managed.   It’s hard to recognize it until the moment comes when all the motors turn off.  All of a sudden you realize the ground isn’t shaking anymore.   There is no vibration in the air creating feelings of heart palpitations.   Everything becomes still and silent.

I was headed home from a race when I reached to turn up my tuck stereo since the sound of the race dulled my hearing a bit.  At that moment I felt the Lord simply impress to me the importance of maintaining my ability to hear His voice despite the chaos and noise of life.   I quickly recalled how easy it was to become accustomed to the noise and feelings of the race that night and how distinct the change is when the engines are shut off.

It’s not difficult to be overwhelmed with the sounds of life in the form of distractions, temptations and stressors.   It can become a significant noise and it’s not something we can easily excuse ourselves from.  The task then before us is to maintain our focus and direction by staying close to the heart of the Father. 

In that place is where we find peace and understanding.   Psalm 119:115 says, “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.”  This is a great encouragement and goal for us.  Even when the uncertainties of life come that He would be our first thought.  When we need direction that our eyes would be fixed on the Father and where He is leading us.  

It is my prayer, and I invite you to make it yours as well, that we don’t allow the things of this world to shift our focus, consume our thoughts or drown out the voice of the Lord.   I don’t want a false sense of peace only because I have become comfortable with managing the symptoms of chaos.    In Isaiah 26:3 it says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trust in You.” I encourage you to take time aside from your day to speak to the Lord, read a passage from the Bible and reflect on his goodness.  Lets take claim of His perfect peace.  

Staring at Cars

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One thing I do enjoy about the offseason is seeing all the cars in pristine condition.  Everything is straight, polished and the paint hasn’t been sanded or chipped away from speeding through dirt and dust.

I unexplainably can look at the same part of a car for extended period of time even though there isn’t anything new to see.    Even when I realize I am doing it - I still don’t want to look away.

Someone took a lot of time cleaning, assembling and polishing the car in hopes their attention to detail would produce more speed and turn heads while doing it. I imagine them stepping back and proudly looking over their work.   Chances are they’ve been caught in a daydream just staring at one part endlessly too.

When I see a good looking car though I don’t say to myself, “that car did a really nice job making sure it looked good today.”  Obviously the car didn’t make itself.  The car is just a reflection of the person or crew who made it.

In the same way everything we see from ourselves in the mirror, to the clouds in the sky or the snow on the ground is a reflection of our incredible creator.  Psalms 139:14 says it best, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful and I know that full well.”  Each one of us is the polished up part and cleaned up creation that He made and admires.   He takes a step back and looks at us with unconditional love for we are wonderfully made.

It may not always feel like we are polished up and without blemish, but that’s why we have relationship with the Lord.  He’s always there to encourage and comfort us.  He always there to forgive and wipe away the dirt and grime.   The next time you see a cleaned up car, let it be a reminder of our need to draw near to Him.  He’s faithful to restore and renew us when we ask Him to. 

Splitting Wood

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It’s winter and it’s cold.  Which stirs up my desire for a wood burning fireplace. 

A couple seasons ago there was a driver who started out the year red hot.  His car looked good, had great speed and he was wheeling it well.  After taking note of this I stopped by his trailer and said, “You look great out there, you really found something over the winter.”   He said, “No, I just moved and got a house with a wood burning fireplace.”

Not exactly the response I was expecting.  However, it made sense.  He had been splitting wood all winter and in the process packed some muscles on his arms and shoulders.   The newly found speed was from his strength and stamina inside the super sportsman that lacks power steering.  

I love that this driver received a benefit even when he wasn’t striving for it.  He didn’t have a daily quota of wood to split rain or shine.  His wife was not waving a checkered flag when he finished to keep him motivated.  He was simply living life and enjoying the warmth of his fireplace.   This is how things are with the Lord. When we come into agreement with Him we receive without striving.  

I view striving as when we wrestle and frustratingly calculate ways to perform.  It is consuming and controlling.   Compare that to 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.”  Here we find instruction to let go and be at rest.  He is allowing us to just to live life and enjoy the warmth of His love. In the difficulties of life and in our ability to perpetually fall short of perfection this is welcomed news.

Take time now to identify where you have struggles and striving.  From relationships and finances to making sure the car is ready for the first test day – He’s there.  Turn over your areas of stress to the Lord and ask for provision, favor, creative solutions, and for clarity to hear His voice.  Life is short but full of adventure. Let’s not get distracted by the things that may wear us down.  Cast it off! 

You may want to get a wood burning fireplace too. Your call.  

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