Twice a year, the boys of NASCAR bring their rides to the fastest half mile on the circuit. Having been a racing fan since the days of Fireball Roberts, David Pearson, and Junior Johnson, watching a race at Bristol is the ultimate as far as I’m concerned. I remember the track in the mid-70’s before it became a colossal venue. I also remember attending races where every seat was packed and a Bristol ticket was hard to come by. The pre-race events, the racing itself, and the “circus” outside the track was something you didn’t want to miss. For years, fans have come for days ahead to get their favorite RV spot.
Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day with full sun and perfect temperatures. Albeit the race was on Sunday, you could say it was a perfect day for racing. Halfway through the race, I turned on the TV to see what was happening. For the short while I viewed the competition, the racing didn’t get my attention . . . the crowd did. Where was everybody? The stands almost looked like a ghost town. I mean, this is “Bristol Baby!”
Yesterday in the morning service, I preached from Revelation 6:9-11 concerning those believers who will be martyred for the Word of God and their testimony during the first half of the Tribulation. Oh, the powerful, solemn, convicting, yet encouraging truths to be mined out of that passage led us to see that every believer should be preparing for martyrdom. Then we watched a video about a young lady who chose to die for her faith in Christ at the hands of her family. The testimony video was followed by observing the Lord’s Supper with the partaking of the emblems in view of being a possible martyr for Christ. The challenge was to exchange our weak following of Christ for an all-out surrender to and for Him! We sat at Jesus’ feet, learned of Him, and were stirred by eternal truths! As I looked around at the crowd . . . where was everybody?
Since I have a bit of an allegiance to and for Bristol Raceway, I’m sorry to see such a small attendance. But, what occurred yesterday is so fleeting and temporal. In eternity, what will it matter that Carl Edwards went from the pole to the win? How will lives be changed for eternity because Bristol hosted three days of racing? So, if you didn’t attend, you did not miss anything.
If you chose to stay away from your Bible-believing, preaching church yesterday, you did miss something. You missed eternal truths that change lives, exalt Christ, present the Gospel, and prepare us for the future. You missed what really mattered.
I love racing and love attending the August night race, but the Bema Seat (2 Corinthians 5:9-11) far outweighs Bristol. So, where were you?