World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway
August 24, 2019
When you listen to almost anyone that really knows about stock car racing and NASCAR it’s almost for sure that you are going to hear how much the sport is a “family sport” and thrives upon strong relationships within any team that is in the Championship chase during any year. The relationship between the Driver and Crew Chief and the Spotter also is what wins races and Championships. But, it does not stop there because it takes the entire team to get the job done.
We all know this. And sometimes I am sort of surprised when people are unable to figure this out to be true, …not just with racing, …but in every other team sport, every business, or family!
This design does not surprise me at all if I take a moment to think about our Creator. God is very clear about His relationship between the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Their relationship is the height and model of relationship. God follows up by making mankind and then “walks with him” in the cool of the day as we are told in Genesis 2 and 3 while He teaches and instructs man in the perfect garden that He had created for them to live and fellowship with Himself within.
Humans are created for relationship. In that creation story found in Genesis, God looks at each thing He has made and sees that it’s “very good” (Genesis 1:31). But when God considers Adam, He says, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). The human Adam needed another human. Every other creature had a mate at their creation except man, and actually I believe that was on purpose. Why do I think that? Because I believe God knew that since He gave us the same kind of mind like Himself, freedom of will and choice, and ability to be creative like Himself, He knew that it would come down to Adam recognizing the lack and understanding the choice to be made, it had to be a female for his own good and completion of himself.
The Bible doesn’t just tell us about our need for connection. It also tells us where to find relationships: among Jesus’s followers.
Jesus, at His death on the cross, told His friend John to consider Christ’s mother as his own. They would be family to each other even after Jesus was gone (John 19:26–27). 26 “When Jesus saw His mother standing there beside the disciple He loved, He said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” 27 And He said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.”
Maybe here is a good place to remind us all that God put us before Himself and His own Son. He chose a motley group like us to have fellowship with! He sent His own Son to pay the horrible price to redeem us from ourselves so that we could comply with being around the holiness of Himself. Philippians 2: 3-4: “3 Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. 4 Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well.”
Let me tell you something about the way I was raised at this spot. My parents ALWAYS made sure I followed that scripture by example and demanded that I waited for others to be served first or was taken care of first before me no matter what the issue was. By the time of adulthood, it was ingrained in me. Through the years I have been chewed out in the Air Force, places I worked, and even at church for doing this. “Quit trying to be a martyr, Bob!” has been the actual accusation thrown at me many times over. However, once I gave my heart to follow Jesus, I really began understanding the whole thought process of my upbringing. It’s simply following Jesus in scripture and counting others valuable and honoring them as Christ did us which fits the Christian life. I’ll take that accusation today, and not worry about it, thanks.
And the Apostle Paul following the Holy Spirit’s direction and leading instructed believers to treat others like parents and siblings (1 Timothy 5:1–2). “Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. 2 Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.”
The psalmist (King David) tells us that part of God’s redemptive work in the world is to put “the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6). “God places the lonely in families; He sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But He makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” God designed the church as one of the best places to do this first and foremost.
Thanks be to God, who has made us for relationship and given us His people to be our family!
Who are the lonely people in your life who need you to be their family?
How have your relationships with fellow believers sustained you through periods of loneliness and stress or need?
God, help me to depend on others and also to be a dependable friend as well.