Saturday, September 20, 2014

Day 263- A Fast First

Today, I took the family to a car race for my "first."

We went to the Northwest Florida Speedway near Baker, Florida.  It is a quarter mile dirt racetrack. This is something that we have never done before. I had seen the sign for the track when traveling to Florida and wondered if that would be fun for us to do.  Well, this is the year of "firsts" so I figured this was the time to do it. 

Hannah Grace was a bit skeptical about going to the races.  She was afraid it would be too loud. It was pretty loud, but not too loud for her. Joel and Laura were both pretty excited about it.  It turned out to be a lot of fun.  I don't know enough about race cars to know what kind we were watching, but it was a lot of fun.  We would all choose a car that we wanted to win before the race and then cheer for our car.  The Wilkinson family chooses a race not on the driver, make of the car, or people on the pit crew.  The colors of the car seems to be the deciding factor for us.  There was one car that had a lot of pink and Hannah Grace loved it.  It won the race it was in.  Hannah Grace was pretty excited about that.

Laura was amazed at how much the cars fishtailed around the curves.  It was fun to watch them sliding and trying to pass one another on the curves.  Of course, seeing how close they got to each other and watching them bump each other occasionally was pretty exciting as well.  One driver even got tossed out of his race for bumping another car too much. The flag guy put the black flag on him and he had to leave the track. They had warned them about that before the races started.  Hannah Grace said she felt really bad for him.  After each race, she would feel bad for the person that came in last.

Before the race started, the announcer asked if someone would like to come and lead the crowd in an invocation (opening prayer).  So, I did.  That's also a "first" for me. I've never prayed the opening prayer at a car race before.  When he asked if someone would like to do that, I went to the press box (that's what it's called at a football game; not sure of the right term for a car race).  The announcer asked me my name and what church I went to.  Then, he asked me where the church was and I told him.  He asked me if I was a member of that church and I told him that I was.  I started to leave it at that, but I went on and told him that I was the pastor there.  He said that was good and that everyone needed to be preached to some.  I started to offer to preach right there but I knew the answer and refrained from that offer. The announcer was very nice and friendly and I'm glad I got to pray at the races.

Hannah Grace's pink car on the way to victory

Some people are more expressive than others 

There were several cars that had to drop out of a race due to mechanical problems.  I'm sure the driver and crew for those cars were pretty bummed.  It would seem to me they had to work pretty hard to get ready for a race only to have the vehicle quit on them.  Then, each race really only had one winner.  If a guy did not win, he'd have to wait till the next race for an opportunity to win. 

I was reminded that Jesus is the only real winner.  He wins the ultimate battle.  The real winners in life are those who have given their lives to Him.  We cannot defeat death, sin, or the devil. Jesus has defeated all three.  Nobody will ever defeat Him.  Even when it looked like Jesus had suffered the ultimate defeat of being crucified, He is such a winner that He turned that into a huge victory by rising from the dead.  If you like winners, you should love Jesus.  Of course, there are multitudes of reasons to love Jesus.  His love, compassion, power, strength, character, truth, grace, and courage are wonderful reasons to love Him.  That list could go on and on.  I encourage you to list a few reasons why you love Jesus and spend a few minutes worshipping Him.

Excited that Jesus is the real winner in the abundant life

3 things I thank God for today
1. Ice
2. Victory in Jesus
3. Paper

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