27 May 2011

The Race Is On

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses
to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down….
And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.
– Hebrews 12:1-2

The 100th Indianapolis 500 Race will take place this Sunday, May 29th at 12 pm (coverage begins at 11 am ET). I am so excited because this year’s pace car will be driven by one of my all time favorite race car drivers... four-time Indianapolis 500 winner, A. J. Foyt. I have to admit, racing is in my blood. My grandfather was a race car driver (before Foyt’s career even began). And my mom raced quarter-midgets at the East Coast fairgrounds. Watching the Indy 500 was (and still is) a Memorial Day tradition in our family.

Alex Tagliani will hold the Indy pole position for this year’s race and is the first Canadian to do so. In an interview during race week, he said that next to his family and faith, racing is what drives him each morning. It’s great to hear another sports person speak out about their faith.

Did you know that the racing community has its own ministry?

IndyCar Ministry, the official chaplain program of the IndyCar Series holds both non-denominational and Catholic services each weekend on the race circuit. Their mission is to minister through the IndyCar Series, which includes four different series' – the IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights, the Star Mazda Series, and the USF2000 Series. They minister to all of those in the racing community, which includes drivers, teams, officials, safety personnel, and even the media. They also reach out to the fans in various ways, sharing the love of Christ. Their ministry is funded through donations made by churches, corporations, individuals and some race teams.

Gentlemen, start your engines! This command will be heard by drivers and fans alike at the start of this year’s Indy 500. On command, 33 finely tuned engines will begin to roar.

How tuned are our engines? Just like the cars that will hit the track in Indiana, we need certain things to keep us running the race before us. You might be asking, “What exactly is our race?” As Christians, we are running a spiritual race. Philippians 3:14 tells us “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” The drivers in the Indy 500 prepare their minds, bodies and cars ahead of time. They need to pace themselves for the race that lies ahead. We too need to prepare ourselves through prayer, and studying and reading God’s Word daily. We need to seek God’s peace and pace ourselves, because just like 500 miles at Indy, our race is not easy either. We may experience delays, bumps in the road, or even near accidents, but perseverance is key to winning the race. We need to stay focused on the checkered flag – Jesus Christ will be waiting for us at the finished line.

It’s Friday, Let’s Sparkle... Action Required...  School is almost over and Vacation Bible School is just around the corner. I recently read an article about a VBS program called "Rev It Up!" The racing theme is based on 1st Corinthians 15:57 -- "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." What a great message for children, letting them know that God provides us with victory through his son Jesus Christ.   In racing terminology, if we are going to stand in the winner’s circle of life, Jesus will be the one to help us get there.

Do you have young children? Be sure to check out the Bible School programs in your area. While you’re at it, why not volunteer to help out.

Are your children all grown up? What better way to stay “young at heart” than volunteering to work with kids. Check out the volunteer opportunities at your church.

Some of the other Bible School themes this year include: PandaMania, Hometown Nazareth, SonSurf Beach Bash, and Jesus to the Rescue.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend and stay safe.
Let’s go “racing” everyone...
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

"The crashes people remember,
but drivers remember the near misses."
- Mario Andretti

1 comment:

Colin, Juanita, Ian, Brooke and Gavin said...

I loved your post today Donna! I too grew up in a racing family. I have very fond memories of the year my dad took me to the Indy 500.... and I got to have breakfast with THE AJ Foyt!

And yes, we do need to pace ourselves in this race set before us.... and His grace will carry us... to the checkered flag!

Great words as always!

Love ya!