Highland Rim Speedway, a small 1/3 mile track just north of Nashville, invited me to race in their Faster Pastor race. Since I had planned on being home last weekend despite our reschedule to take my bride out for a special evening Friday, there was a hole in my schedule for Saturday that let me race.
I have to admit, even behind the wheel of that old dodge neon in their Rim Runner division, I felt like Dale Earnhardt or Richard Petty. I swear I felt a V8 rumbling under me, and not that 4-cylinder power plant.
The experience was unbelievable.
As we came to the green, with my green and white 49 rolling off dead last, I had clinched 1stplace by turn two. Feeling quite confident with myself, I plowed into turn three and four and nearly clobbered the wall dropping me back to second.
Within a few laps I was back on the leader’s bumper. SOMEHOW his left rear bumper made contact with my right front bumper, sending him spinning! I found myself in the rear again, with a little work ahead of me.
By the time we took the white flag, I was again in the lead, with second place in hot pursuit. As we came out of turn four we were beating on each other door to door, with his car sideways and mine plowing forward towards the finish. We crossed the line in a photo finish, with the other driving being declared the winner.
It was pretty awesome!
It wasn’t until later, when I made it back to the grandstands where my family was, that they showed me the video. I had won, at least it sure looked like it from the video and photos! The front of my car had just barely crossed the line before the second place driver.
I have to admit, I was a little dejected at that point. I wanted my trophy and my victory lane picture, that other guy was getting what I deserved! Life is like that sometimes though; sometimes we don’t get what we deserve.
That is not always a bad thing.
I’m reminded of Psalm 103:10, “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”
We don’t deserve the love of God. We don’t deserve salvation and eternal life. None of us have raced a race good enough to make it to that victory lane. Yet, God’s grace and mercy are extended to us anyway.
His mercy saves us from what we do deserve, His grace gives us what we don’t deserve. Love and life.
We didn’t deserve God’s love, nor Jesus sacrifice. But we know this, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17
Sometimes in life we don’t get what we deserve, and for that, I am thankful.
Oh, and for your viewing pleasure, here is the race in full! I drove the green and white #49 hotrod!