The pandemic continues to dominate our world. The numbers continue to grow but it is not the thousands that affect us, it is the smallest number; one. One life that is connected to ours, an acquaintance, a friend, a coworker, or a family member the results the same, heartbroken. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The racing community has been touched by loss over the past few weeks. It seems the new year has brought with it heartbreak after heartbreak. The difficulty has been magnified by the inability to gather with one another and grieve, share memories, hug, cry, laugh and support each other. My heart goes out to those who have had to deal with loss alone, separated from loved ones, without the presence of family and friends.
We are not built to be islands, we are interdependent; we get through things together. The racing community knows this better than most. This has been a difficult thing for most of us to keep from being together. That is our safe place, our peaceful place where the world is right. I am reminded of a picture I saw recently of Wade Cole sitting in a folding chair beside his ramptruck alone in the pits at Bristol. He was in his happy place. Sadly we lost Wade a few weeks back to a shop accident. The pandemic prevented us from showing our love to his family and sharing a time of healing, storytelling, laughing and crying with each other. That has been more difficult for many to deal with than the loss.
With all the distancing this pandemic has caused we have come to realize that we need to prioritize certain things above others. I hope we will been able to discern the things in life that are truly valuable. The writer of Romans has this to offer, my hope is that we will head this guidance.
Romans 15:9-21; NLT; Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
This time of separation can be of some benefit. We can choose to see things from a different perspective. I believe most of us live life on our own path, we determine the steps we take based on what we want, what we desire. We make decisions to the best of our ability with the thought that we are getting someplace and when we arrive that’ll be the day!
But as I look at these verses it reminds me that each day we should look to the lives around us and consider their needs before we consider ours. We live in a world where too many are running around with blinders on only focused on what they want, what they desire. I fear we make our choices from a self-centered perspective. My hope is this time we have been given will cause us to change, to rethink our motives and focus on what will truly bring satisfaction and meaning to our lives.
The definition of love revealed here is that we put others above ourselves. Many of us are struggling with being told what to do, when and how to do it. We find it hard to let someone else dictate our lives. Suddenly we are not free, we cannot pursue life, liberty and happiness. That doesn’t sit well with most of us. I suggest that a way to get through this with some semblance of sanity is to serve others. Put ourselves in the situation others are facing and see if we cannot make the days of isolation a blessing for them. I contend that if we do that we will reap a benefit in our own life that is greater than anything we could accomplish on our own.
My heart is broken when I hear of the things others are having to endure in this time of isolation. I desire to do something about it but have limited abilities. But one thing I can do is pray. I can lift people up, asking for the Lord God to come alongside them with his comfort, mercy, grace, encouragement and love. I find myself talking to God more each day but not about my needs but about the needs of others. Join with me in prayer for those around us. Join with me as we lift up to God the difficulties others are facing. Join with me as we ask for God’s intervention in this time of isolation.
God’s word tells us that things can be summed up in two simple commandments;
Matthew 22:37-40; NLT; Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Let’s encourage one another to touch the lives of those who are hurting during this time. It isn’t an easy time by no means for anyone. It is when our hearts are broken that we feel deeply and truly. Let your heart be broken. Lift up those around you. Be the light that shines in the darkness.
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.