HOTTER THAN ….
Man has it been hot! Some might even think that Hell would be cooler. Let me assure you it won’t be. No matter what we endure here there is a place, a real place, worse than the hottest day on Earth. We must caution ourselves when we think we can withstand the torment and suffering of Hell, it isn’t a place to desire to be. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
How many times do we weigh the consequences of our decisions against what we think we can handle before we decide to do it anyway? We think we can handle it when, in fact, we shouldn’t even try. It happens more than you think. At a recent race I attended two incidents stood out in direct contrast to each other.
In one incident coming to the Checkered Flag a driver made a late move for the lead. The leader had a decision to make, block and possibly put us both in the fence or dig as hard as I can and hope to out run him to the line. The driver chose the latter, held his lane and did his best to beat him. In the end he lost the race but lived to race another day, the next day in fact. I spoke with the driver at the conclusion of the race and we discussed his thought process. He understood the consequences either way, made a decision and came home second.
On the next day in another race a driver made a decision that cost not only him but several others. He made a move for a pass hoping to intimidate the driver in front to lift and he would gain a spot. The driver that had the position held his ground and a spin resulted. The consequences however affected more than these two drivers. Because of the spin and the speed at which the cars are moving a chain reaction happened and cars further back in the field were collected up and their race was over. For one that I talked with their season might be over, the damage to their car was significant.
Two racing scenarios, two decisions, two sets of consequences. I am sure both drivers can rationalize why they chose to do what they did. Depending on your loyalties and your preferences you may have your own rationalizations. I can share with you living to race another day over winning at all cost is mine. It would seem that my preference isn’t in vogue currently. I can tell you this, the racing I was raised on and grew to love was different than most of what we see in stock car racing today.
So where am I going with this; we all have choices to make, each with their own set of consequences. Sometimes other people’s choices have consequences that affect us. We can be the victim of circumstances beyond our control. The golden rule used to be “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” but to watch some people’s behavior it may be more accurate to say “do unto others before they do unto you”.
We need to get back to a place where we consider others and how our decisions affect other people. That is how we will find a rich and satisfying life. Yes, we won’t get everything we want but I can tell you it is more satisfying to sacrifice our wants for the benefit of others. We were created in such a way as to be more fulfilled by serving than being served. That isn’t something that is easy to get our hands around until we actually do it.
This past Sunday morning I tuned into my friend Chris Fleming’s Facebook live broadcast “Live at 8:55”. Yes that Chris Fleming, Frank’s brother. Chris is an encouragement to me and many others. He read the account Christ gave in His word, Luke 16:19-31, about the rich man and Lazarus. I encourage you to read it and use it to help us understand the challenge we face from wanting our own way while discarding the consequences our choices have on others.
Let me summarize; There was a man who enjoyed life here on Earth and didn’t want for anything contrasted by a man that was afflicted with suffering. The rich man was aware of the suffering man because the Word tells us the suffering man was at the rich man’s gate. The rich man knew he was there but did nothing. When they died one went to heaven the other to hell. The rich man cried out from his torment in hell for help.
Luke 16:24, NLT; “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’
Funny how even in hell the rich man wanted to be served. The rich man had many opportunities to serve or help Lazarus but was so focused on what he wanted he didn’t. When we live our lives so focused on what we want versus considering the needs of others we are in danger of judgement and the fires of Hell. Oh, and pleading with God after the fact won’t change things. We need to do what is right and honor God rather than do what we want and ask God to fix the consequences.
Luke 16:25-31, NLT; “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’
“Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’
“But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’
“The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’
“But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”
We all have opportunities to make the right choice. Sometimes we are guilty of listening to the noise of the world as to what we should do, how we should live and think. The right way, the way that honors God will always result in satisfaction, fulfillment, and goodness. Choosing the popular, worldly choices leaves us hollow and empty, looking for something else to satisfy us. The rich man longed for a drop of water and there was none. How much more could he have had if he only considered the needs of someone else?
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.