Do you have a RWJM driver’s prayer in your car? If you do, take a little time and read it through. If you don’t, let us know and we can get you one. I specifically wanted to talk about our responsibility of responding in a way that honors God. Have we been actively engaged in trying to honor God? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
When we get ready to start the race we glance over and look, maybe even read the driver’s prayer attached to our dash. Some of us have them on our passenger car dashboard. Do you have one? It is a pretty simple prayer, but one that should set your frame of mind for the race of the day.
For those of you who haven’t seen it let me quote the prayer for you here;
“Father God, in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, we ask for Your hand of protection on us. We ask that Your Spirit will guide our actions and that we would respond in a way that will honor you. Give us your wisdom, patience and guidance. We thank you for answering our prayers. In Jesus name, Amen”
Let me ask a question, how do we handle adversity when it comes at us at the track? Maybe someone accused us of doing or saying something we didn’t. They may be right or totally wrong. It may be just an outright attack because someone doesn’t like us. The reason for such an encounter may have its basis in fact or be pure fiction. There are times it feels we are being criticized for things we may not be responsible for.
Back to the prayer, read the line “We ask that Your Spirit will guide our actions and that we would respond in a way that will honor you.” We cannot control what other people say or do. We can control how we respond. If we respond in a way that honors God we change the situation.
I remember a conversation I had with a driver who had just been used up on the track by another driver. He was hot! He was pacing, swearing, casting down hellfire and damnation. I asked him to think of responding differently. Maybe just let it go, no heated argument, no threats, just smile and wave. That might just cast some doubt in the mind of the other driver. It may cause him to think twice. Will it change him? I don’t know, but it will calm you down and allow you to move forward without holding burdens from the past.
Think about it for a moment and ask yourself how you feel when someone yells back at you. We tend to yell back. Our blood pressure rises. We either start defending ourselves with reasons or we get angry back. Either way all bets are off when it comes to honoring God.
Then think about how it feels when someone responds with grace and self-control. Your response is not the same. You head does not explode. Your defenses are not raised. Try this test, everyone you meet today greet with a smile. You don’t have to say anything just show them a smile. That one little gesture will change the whole conversation.
We should remember that when people come in contact with us they should leave with a better spirit than when they came. We should add some goodness to those we come in contact with. Why, because Jesus did. Jesus reached out to people and showed them compassion and mercy.
Paul writes in Galatians about the difference the Spirit of God should make in our response to others.
Galatians 5:17-26; For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
There is a conflict between goodness and evil. It takes place in each one of us. We have to decide which little voice we are going to listen to. The one that says I don’t get mad I get even. Or the voice that shows grace and self-control. We all make that decision, some think it through and some shoot from the hip.
When you are driving on the track or just down the road and someone cuts you off what are the first thoughts that come to mind? I know and you know what they are. The key is to take five seconds and remember to respond in a way that will honor God. Remember the passage from Galatians. Now, we can give them the benefit of the doubt and let them go without the horn beep or the indication that you think they are number one. The more we do it the easier it becomes. We will start a habit of reflecting the character of Jesus.
Do you know why the people came to Jesus? Because, He had mercy and compassion for them regardless of what they had done. Jesus didn’t condemn, he forgave. Jesus tolerated their shortcoming in order to have the opportunity to show them a better way.
Are we as attractive as Jesus? Do people come to us because we treat them with respect and understanding? Have we shown them the fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? How we respond to the challenging situations and people in our lives determines what kind of witness we are. We will only honor God if we respond in the right way.
I would encourage you to commit this sentence to memory, “I will only let goodness flow from me.” With this type of approach we accomplish two things, one we honor God, two we honor those who we come in contact with. Show the love of Jesus to all those you meet. 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.