Back in 2002 my dad and I made a last minute decision to drive down to Daytona for the season opening race. The year before Dale Sr. had died, and Monday after the race was a work holiday, so it just seemed like the right time for a father son road trip. When we got there on Saturday we had time to purchase Busch series tickets and watch Dale Jr. win the race in the Oreo #3 car. It was super neat. We were able to get autographs the next day from a couple of young drivers Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson. We were able to get autographs from a couple of other drivers Shauna Robinson, and in his last race Dave Marcis.
The Sunday race was pretty unique. Our driver Jeff Gordon was leading with 10 laps to go and then he blocked Harvick from passing under the yellow line (which was not allowed by the rules). This wreck took out both drivers and left a red flag condition on the track. Sterling Marlin the new race leader climbed out of his car to pull the front fender off the tire. This lead to him being penalized and sent to the back of the field. The strange events eventually led to a little known driver Ward Burton winning the biggest race of his life.
Today’s race reminded me of the 2002 race & the fun times I had with my dad. But it also made me think of a Biblical truth.
Kurt only lead one lap, the final one and that was good enough for the win.
This reminds me that it doesn’t matter when you become a Christian as long as you do before you run out of laps. over 15 years of Daytona failures and near wins could have kept Kurt Busch from pursuing the biggest race of his life. For many folks the years click off, time and time again without a serious thought about Jesus. Kurt Busch hung in there and finally got his victory at Daytona Just barely as he only lead one lap. Kurt’s advantage was he knew how many laps the race was going to have. How many years will your life have?
Never give up on God’s pursuit of you! If he is pricking your heart, or mind, even if it is the final lap surrender to Him. Your ultimate Victory is His Victory that He won at Calvary. Matthew 20: 1-16 shows us what God thinks of folks that come to Him at the very end. Praise God that He is a merciful and loving God. Jesus wants you to cross the finish line in His care.
Matthew 20:1-16 New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.
“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend.Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”