One Hundred and Seventeen Words

June 23, 2013

Well, I guess you could say NASCAR has taken a firm hold of the America heart and the American media.  A week or so ago there was a race at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) that probably had a quarter of a million people in attendance, and another several million who watched it on television.  The race was 500 miles, 3-4 hours I would guess.  FoxSports had several video spots and an article that was thousands of words in length.  Photos, videos, blogs, and business.  I get it.  I even enjoy it a little.

Today the Twenty Four Hours at Le Mans concluded.   “The world’s most famous endurance race.”  FoxSports had an article about this race too.  One hundred and seventeen words.  If you have read this far you have read 119 words.

That’s it.  Oh,  and the word Audi was repeated multiple times.  Besides Audi, Porsche and Toyota also competed, according to the article I read. I have no idea which other auto makers competed.  Only Seven drivers were mentioned by name, including the one who died. He was given his own sentence.  The racers at Le Mans traveled more than three thousand miles in twenty-four hours and  only seven were mentioned by name?  Of course Michelin provide the tyres, there were no Goodyear tires at this race.  

The world’s oldest endurance race, the most imitated, most famous race takes place in France, so it gets 117 words and a photo.

NASCAR drivers talk with a drawl, they drive Chevys and Fords, and they race every weekend.  I get that.  I am mostly making note of a cultural phenomenon, even though this probably does sound a bit critical.  The racing circuit that informs and forms the heart of the European sports sedan can’t compete with the circuit in which drivers pilot weak (but fast) imitations of American sedans.  And the advertising budget for one NASCAR even is larger than the GNP of many nations.  I get all that.  I’m not trying to defame not defend anyone, I’m simply making a few cultural observations. And trying to relate this comparison to real life.  What informs and forms my heart?

What are the things we call important, and what causes them to have such a place in our hearts?  What are the things to which we give our time and our lives, the things that occupy our thoughts and actions?

I call myself a Christian, a follower of Jesus; an imitator, or little Christ.  Yet how much of my life is devoted to pursuing Christ?  Does my imitation cause anyone to want to know more about Jesus?  If you read about my life, would there be more than 117 words describing my relationship with God, my devotion to The Way? 

Do I need a bigger advertising budget, or a truer call? 

Do I need more sponsors, or more devotion?

Many years ago, there was a story/song going around Christian radio that went something like, “If they arrested you for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”  It is quite clear that NASCAR has captured the American heart the way Le Mans never did or never will. 

Has Christ captured my heart, or just my interest.  This morning Pastor Peter Yoshonis asked the question, “Are you Christ flavored, or Christ filled?”   Am I in this race for just few laps around the course, or am I in it for the long-haul?

Le Mans has caused me to ponder this puzzle for a while today.

How about you?


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