“One day very soon, we'll all be old men. And unlike most old men, we won't sit around and regret the things we never did, because we did them. We took the plunge, sacrificed, and made a difference in this world for God.”
Barber Motorsports Park, situated in Birmingham, Alabama, is easily the most picturesque road course racing facility in the nation. It is simply gorgeous, itself a work of art with other works of art scattered about the grounds in just the right spots. The larger ones you just happen to stumble upon in the least imaginable location. There’s a group of ants devouring a motorcycle racer and downing a soft drink, a massive mother spider protecting her babies, an inflatable cathedral, and the effigy of a lady relaxing in a lake as if it were her personal bathtub. The less conspicuous items fall under foot at nearly every step about the facility. Representations of animals, flora, fauna, along with various mechanical objects are embedded and imprinted within the poured concrete wherever you walk.
One thing is for certain, God knows exactly what He is doing with Kingdom Racing in 2012. For the second time in as many weeks, He placed the right people at the right time before us for sharing and spreading His word at the Grand Prix of Alabama. The pastor of a church in Montgomery, whose wife has a connection with Sam Schmidt, approached us with his growing family and was enthralled to hear how we are serving His kingdom through the INDYCAR Series. Another man and his son from a local church in Birmingham sought us out having made previous contact and wanted to know more about Kingdom Racing and how they might help in our mission once we return to race again in 2013 and beyond.
Both of these unplanned meetings fit well within our goal for the weekend of establishing some sort of foothold within the community in which to build upon our ministry outreach for next season. We prayed about it. We listened. We showed up, and God sent the right people directly to us to begin opening that door of ministry for the future. It never fails to amaze each and every one of us to watch God work through Kingdom Racing. Each week, all we have to do is show up and stay visible. God does the rest. That’s just how He is. But the important thing is that we must be there to act upon the opportunities He provides.
Another salient aspect of the weekend worthy of note was that I took an old friend of mine along for the trip and another team member, Tim Carrie, brought his family to Barber from Indianapolis. For the entire lot this was their first time to not only see the inner workings of a professional INDYCAR team up close and personal, but also the work that Kingdom Racing and the INDYCAR Ministry are doing behind the scenes and throughout the series paddock for Christ. And with each, they came away duly impressed with what they saw, having been moved surely by the Spirit.
Without argument, a big part of the reason for the success of our outreach has to do with the success of the platform He has given us this year with Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports. On the track, Simon Pagenaud qualified the No. 77 car in tenth place and finished fifth in a hard fought battle with top contenders at a race course predominantly known for its lack of passing. Simon and the team, amid spectacular race strategy, surgical teamwork, and superb driving ability, finished one spot better than last week for a Top Five. Amid the fans, competitors, and reporters, people are standing up and taking notice that the No. 77 is the real deal and will be up front to contend for race wins at every stop this season. Certainly, it is God who provided this platform, putting all of the talent together in one team to go out and win.
The Grand Prix of Alabama was a rousing success, not just on the track, but once again, behind the scenes. How many souls we impacted for Christ will never be known, but the few we did reach and talk to here and there, even if only for a moment, will surely have far-reaching effects into the future of building His kingdom.
The INDYCAR Series has a week off on the schedule before heading to California for the Grand Prix of Long Beach, the premier street racing event in America. That week off is a silly illusion. Fans might see it, but behind the scenes, there is no off-week. The Schmidt Hamilton team spent two days testing the No. 77 car at Texas Motor Speedway this week in preparation for the mid-June night race. The beloved truckies, Frank Camacho and Jason Bolles, drove the team transporter from Alabama to Indianapolis, then to Texas and back to Indy a couple of days later. How they find time to sleep is a mystery. Perhaps this serves a point of Christian reality. In racing, just as in our walk with God, there is no time off. Fans and churchgoers alike are apt to head to the track or sanctuary once a week, offer their devotions and head back home until returning for the big event a week later. What they miss are all of the little details that go into running that race or living a Christian life. There is no time off. Teams must work hard to win and a soul must seek Christ constantly to maintain the Walk.
Returning to the opening quote, it was something that just struck and made sense. Thinking of my dad on his deathbed and all the sorrowful words and scenes of regret he spewed forth in those final bitter weeks and days, it became clear that I don’t share his sentiment. Because I heard God calling me to somewhere else in life, He drew a path directly to Kingdom Racing. Now, as I sit each day at a desk or out and about at the various racing facilities of the nation, God is being served in everything we do. The world and its honors have been forsaken in exchange for servitude in Jesus Christ. And the satisfaction brought about in that, along with seeing and feeling Him work through Kingdom Racing is greater than any worldly pursuit conceivable. Kingdom Racing is in the right place as He directed and it will be exciting to see what God has in store for us in California and onward. As always, we’ll certainly find out and be astonished at His mastery!
Don't forget to check out the Kingdom Racing Facebook Page for photos and videos from race weekend! https://www.facebook.com/KingdomRacing