Tag Archives: Daytona 500

Don’t Run out of Laps! Daytona 500!

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. He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 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?’

“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

“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.’

“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.”

Daytona 500 Fast, Dangerous, & Unpredictable

This weekend is the Daytona 500, where cars will be driving within inches of each other near 200 miles an hour stacked nose to tail 20 cars deep two, three, and sometimes 4 wide!  Our life on earth is much like this in 3 different ways it’s Fast, Dangerous, & Unpredictable.

Life is over way too soon.  I remember just the other day I was playing catch with my dad in the front yard.  Some where between then and now I’m still playing catch but this time it’s with a son who is 30 years younger than me.  Where did my time go?  We are like mist folks our time is short, our life is fast.  I once read that all the mile a NASCAR driver drives is like New York to LA 20 times.  Where did all the miles go?

Life is also dangerous.  At the Daytona 500 there have been some terrible wrecks throughout the years.  Tony Stewart on the back stretch is a scary one that comes to mind, and just 15 years ago Dale Earnhardt Sr. lost his life in this race.  Every time those drivers enter the turn they might not make it out of it.  Life is like that for us too.  We never know when our day is up, or time has come.  Tragically bad things happen when we aren’t expecting them.  So again are we ready to meet our creator.  Has our soul submitted to Jesus and accepted Him as our Savior for the wages that we have earned are death.  Jesus can take away our sins, it was His purpose to do so.  It was God’s plan.  In this dangerous world none of us will get through unscathed either by sin or death.  Satan is prowling looking to end our purity, love, peace as well as our life.

Unpredictable is an understatement for the Daytona 500.  My dad and I went in 2002 and at the time the best driver in the world Jeff Gordon blocked up and comer Kevin Harvick and they both wrecked with 10 laps to go.  This gave the lead to Sterling Marlin who should have won for sure as he was one of the two best cars the year before.  Then a red flag came out, and that wasn’t all that came out.  Sterling climbed out of his car and started pulling the front fender out off the tire (against the rules).  This took the second leader under 10 laps to go to the end of the line.  And a little know fan favorite Ward Burton won the race.  Ward raced for 13 years, 375 races, and only won 5 times.  I’ve been to about 25 races in my life and I can say that I’ve seen Ward Burton win as many times live as I’ve seen Jeff Gordon who raced for 24 years, 797 races, and 93 wins.  Now how predictable is that.  Our life is just like the Daytona 500, I could have never predicted how wonderful a wife I would God would give me, I couldn’t have predicted the 3 wonderful children God gifted me with, I couldn’t have predicted that before the foundations of the earth God wrote my name in the book of life, and then knowing my need of a Savior sent his Son Jesus Christ to die for me.  I don’t know about you but my life has been unpredictable with ups and downs.

I’ll never know what it feels like to win the Daytona 500, but I can tell you this.  It won’t compare to when I get to heaven to celebrate the Lord, sing worthy is the Lamb, and enjoy my glorified body in his presence (the ultimate victory circle).  If your living a Fast, Dangerous, and Unpredictable race or life perhaps you should consider a relationship with the Father’s Son, Jesus!  He will not leave you.  He is the good Shepard and He will find His sheep no matter how lost they are.

John 6:37 (NAS) “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”