In this world of Political Correctness we have had to change some things as to not be offensive. I guess it will always be Columbus Day Weekend to me, I apologize. What makes us indigenous anyway? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Fact is the racing community are not necessarily known for their tact, generally our mouth is moving before we engage our mind and in most cases there isn’t a filter between the two. We tell it like it is, call it like we see it and accept you the way you are. The only thing we try to fix is race cars. That’s a good place to be. Indigenous is a big word, let’s break it down a little, it means you belong here. Being among like-minded people is good.
It is pretty easy though to spot someone who doesn’t fit. Like Sesame Street, which one doesn’t belong? The other day I was in the control tower at Thompson for a two day SCCA event and in the middle of a race some said, “Who’s that guy?” pointing out the window at a man dressed in a suit and tie. Nothing stands out more in an active race garage area than a suit and tie. He looked so out of place. We determined he was not where he belonged and kept our distance.
I remember an old commercial where a company tried to define what makes race fan tick. “Who shows up seven days early for an event? Race fans do. Proof was in the campers lined up at the gate as soon as the track said they could come and park for the event the following week. I had to be at the track two days later and someone commented that they just weren’t dropping their campers off but they were staying for the week in them. We may be crazy but we’re first in line! For what it’s worth I don’t think the person who questioned the sanity of someone who shows up early for an event is indigenous. They might not belong here.
What holds us together? Why do we miss not being at the track? I was speaking with Deb Marvuglio at the World Series. Her son was Shane Hammond who we lost in a racing accident at Thompson and prompted her to start a foundation, the Shane Hammond Believe foundation, to help others race safe. She called being with the racing family her fix. When the world doesn’t seem right. When things are out of balance. She needs to go to the track, be with family; get things in perspective. She needed to be around people who understood, who loved without condition, who welcomed you with open arms and embraced your journey.
A similar instance played out At New Hampshire Motor Speedway last month. Julie Stefanik came to the Whelen Modified Tour race as they honored her late husband, Mike. The timing of the event was the day after his funeral and everyone would understand if she stayed away, but the connection was there. The racing family understood her loss and she stood among friends who shared her grief. I believe she was compelled to be there, for herself, for Mike and for the racing family. I admire her courage and willingness to allow us to share time with her in her grief. At Thompson on World Series weekend I had the honor of escorting Julie around the track as we followed her daughter Nicole who was driving one of her father’s old race cars. She was so appreciative of the effort the racing family has extended to her family in their time of loss.
Racers are racers, tracks are home, people are family, and it is pretty plain to see. We wear our heart on our sleeve, exposed for the world to see. We are a pretty transparent bunch, what you see is what you get. We aren’t always understood by the world around us, but there is a place where we feel at home. Welcome to the family.
What about God’s family, how do we know we belong there? That’s an easy answer;
Genesis 1:27; “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
Just twenty seven verses into the Bible and we learn that God created us, we are His. That means we belong to His family. He created us for a purpose known to Him. We are his workmanship and He alone knows best how we can live a full and satisfying life.
Ephesians 2:10; “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
God has a plan for each one of us, he has a place for each one of us. He communicates through His word in so many places how valuable we are to Him. He desires that we dwell with Him, live in Him and walk with Him. There is one thing he doesn’t do. He doesn’t make us have to. We have to want to. He leaves the opportunity open to each of us and it is our decision to accept it.
We are all like the prodigal son. We want all the goodness life can give. We think we know the best way to live. We spend our time, maybe waste it away, searching for something only to realize that home is where we need to be. Home in the presence of a loving father. Home where we are received with open arms despite our imperfections and short comings. We belong there.
Luke 15:20ff; “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him… We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost but now he is found.”
Like the prodigal there is only one home, to be with the Father, our creator. Without Him we are dead, lost. But in Him there is life, a celebration, value, purpose, fulfillment, and satisfaction. I encourage you to return to your indigenous roots, return to the one who created you. The one who knitted you together in your mother’s womb. The one who ordained your days. The one who has the hairs on your head counted. The one to whom we belong, God.
John 10:10; “The thief’s purpose is to steal, and kill, and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
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.