LIFE WITHOUT RACING

Jim Jack has been a chaplain for Racers For Christ for... let's just say... a long time. He writes a monthly column and we're honored to now publish it on our website. For more info on Racers For Christ, visit their website - www.teamrfc.org.

Most of us have lived some of our life without racing. I used to believe I couldn’t survive without seeing nitro burning cars or boats on a regular basis. In reality, there are many things in life we can live without, but few things we can’t live without.

Without air we can’t breathe and survive, and an internal combustion engine can’t breathe without air. Without water a human can’t survive very long, and without water drag boat racing would cease to exist. Air and water are vital for human survival, and they’re both vital for racing—engines need air, and racing needs water to race on, for cooling engines, and burnouts.

A number of people would figuratively explode if they were unable to race whenever they wanted. To these people, life without racing would be the worst thing imaginable. They may say, if I can’t race, if I can’t drive fast, then why exist?

Life without racing would be difficult for millions of racing fans in this country, as well as the many people who would be out of work, since the overall racing community employs tens of thousands of people in manufacturing, fabrication, marketing, publication, transportation, and sales. Even ministry would change for people in RFC if we were without racing.

Think about this: Life without football would drive millions of people crazy. What would guys do on Sunday’s without football? Throw a body block on their TV. Sack their wives. Make their kids run a post pattern down and around the block. Get called for a personal foul. Kick the dog or cat for a field goal. Fire the school administrators because their kids didn’t have a football team. Challenge the Supreme Court to pass a law stating “In Football We Trust.”

You may think the previous paragraph sounds ridiculous, but stop and think about it for a moment. Many people in this world simply believe they can’t live without certain things: Sports, racing, relationships, work, money, drugs, alcohol, radio, TV, and even their pets!

Spiritually speaking, we can’t live without God the way He designed us, “For in Him we live and move and have our being,” (Acts 17:28a). And “He [God] Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else,” (Acts 17:25c).

The book of Acts referring to the apostle Paul says, “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true,” (Acts 17:11).

These Bereans searched the Scriptures daily to see if this guy was teaching the truth about God. Why search it every day? Why not search the Bible everyday? There’s an old saying, “If you don’t wear out your Bible, you’ll be worn out by the world.”

Near the end of my first year as the IHBA Series chaplain, Dave Promnitz who drove a nine second boat told me he would have a four second Top Fuel Hydro next year…what did I hear…he spoke clear…his eyes showed no fear…in his hand maybe holding a beer…and in 1992 he became a nitro hydro peer. For him, life without nitro would be like life without racing.

In today’s world, it really is a dog-eat-dog society where people desperately want to win their own race, regardless of what kind of race they’re competing in: Be it a drag race, a road race, a beauty race, a success race, a scholarship race, who gets the best job race, a wedding race, an intelligence race, or possibly a race to see who gets to heaven or hell first.

I read an interesting twist on the names of the days of the week—for some reason—making me think about life without racing, so here it goes…no need to hold your nose…or cross your toes…with a little prose…hopefully God will make sure it flows!

Sunday is the first day of the week, it’s also the Lord’s Day, and race day, the day most Christians attend church, or an RFC chapel service. It’s a day when we gather together to worship God with fellow followers and share our common bond as believers in the body of Christ. Life without church occasionally is okay—missing it is not a death sentence.

But if Sunday becomes “Sinday” and all that matters is what you feed your flesh, then that day becomes just like any other day in the life of a non follower of Jesus Christ.

Monday is the first day of the traditional work week. Work has its benefits, and hard work never killed anyone. Because of the “fall” in the Garden of Eden (through Adam and Eve), mankind was relegated to work the land from dawn to dusk to survive…and thrive.

But if Monday becomes “Mournday” and all you care about is Monday Night Football, or watching racing reruns on TV or the Internet, then afterwards you mourn about having to go to work to make a living, mourn about no racing, only wishing it was race weekend again. What did you learn from the Lord’s Day that’s supposed to sustain you for another week, or more?

Tuesday should be like second gear; you just shifted from first and starting to pick up speed for a full-pull across the finish line of another week in your—hopefully—abundant life God has given you.   

But if Tuesday has become “Tearsday” and you’re sad because after leaving the starting line (second?) heading into the middle of a lost week without racing, becomes the life of an ungrateful and unhappy person with a bleak outlook, then your life-race is heading nowhere.

Wednesday is the middle of the week; you’re over the hump, but there’s still no racing in sight. If you can squeeze past this day, you’re on the down slope, and can coast since you’re running on fumes. Churches throughout history have had Wednesday night services to help you maintain a proper charge in your battery so you can burn brightly for the rest of the week.

But if Wednesday has become “Wasted-day” and you wasted your time, wasted your energy, wasted your thoughts, or got wasted trying to drown yourself in self pity, attempting to anesthetize yourself just so you can make it to the weekend and start the whole process over, you may be able to convince yourself a blurred finish line is now in sight.

Thursday can be the day you think you see light at the end of the tunnel (maybe some racing?), and it can be a day your life is charged-up again and you’re ready to take on any new challenges the world may throw at you, knowing you are on the next to the last lap.

But if Thursday has become “Thirstday” and you are only concerned about what you are going to consume over the weekend—your thirst for the fleshly things will win the battle and you’ll start feeling defeated before you get to the finish line.

Friday is the day people like to say Thank God It’s Friday. I’m on the last lap, the finish line is in sight, I can taste the weekend, I can smell the nitro, I can hardly wait…I bought some bait…I’ll be first out of the gate…to party with my mate…just hope I’m not late. For Jesus, Friday was the gloomy day, but Sunday was the glorious day! He won our race at the cross.

But if Friday becomes “Fightday” and you fight to get it over, fight with your boss who wants you to work the weekend, fight with your spouse over the honey-do list (still no racing), fight with the kids’ recital because it may ruin your weekend, “Fightday” may become a “Frightday.” A frightened family feels forever funky: But, “Perfect love casts out all fear.”

Saturday is the first day of the weekend, but it’s the last day of the week, and it’s the Sabbath day for taking it easy (God rested on the seventh day), and it’s usually a day to go racing, or relax with no one telling what to do…racing was your glue…for many this is true.

But if Saturday has become “Shatterday” and your racing dreams are broken right before your eyes, you may feel like shattering something or someone, whichever gets in your way first. Can you imagine shattering someone’s day…’cause things didn’t go your way!

As for the rest of the information about the twisted names for the days of the week, the last part is the best part. Remember, seven days without God and church makes one weak!

A week of unrest isn’t fun. Because sin—missing the mark—adds to your trouble, subtracts from your energy, divides your relationships, and multiplies your difficulties.

Seven prayer-less days (with or without racing) make one weak! Remember, when sin moved in, Adam moved out…with a defensive shout…he desperately ran all about…because the devil put in his heart doubt…his lost race had become a rout…but with God at your side don’t pout…because Jesus won the title bout.