Standing on God’s platform
I tend to rejoice when the silent majority champions a spokesperson no matter where they might show up.
A humbly excited 20-year-old plus one day young man won the Daytona 500 this year. Trevor Bayne, a total unknown to the NASCAR Cup winners’ circle, won in his second start at the top level of American auto racing. In the winners’ circle, on live national and worldwide television, he immediately gave God the glory, then his sponsors, and then his car owners and crew.
I have to admit, not a very unusual thing to happen, until I heard further interviews and more background stories about this young man. I have since discovered that his total lifestyle is truly rooted in a deep sincere devotion to his faith in God.
In one interview, Trevor was asked what he liked to do in his spare time. I can’t quote him, but Trevor let it be known he was a devoted person of faith and enjoyed having Bible studies with some other young drivers, and he named a few, because it helped keep them grounded in the truth while surrounded in fame.
On Feb. 23, AP sports-writer Chris Jenkins wrote, “After Trevor Bayne shocked the NASCAR world by winning the Daytona 500, his celebration was decidedly PG-rated. He rode a skateboard and shot some hoops with his buddies. In a quiet moment, he wrote himself a note. According to Bayne’s father, Rocky, it said, “How do I stay grounded in my faith, when I am so high on winning this race?”
Bayne’s note might have been personal, but the religious sentiment it contained is something Bayne is driven to share.
Since rocketing to the spotlight with his big win at Daytona on Sunday, the 20-year-old Bayne has made it clear that he intends to use success in racing as a platform to talk about his faith.
Recently, Bayne sat down with his father and business advisors to figure out his long-term goals. While winning was on the list, it wasn’t at the top.
“I told them that the goal was not to be the best race-car driver or the most marketable or most popular,” Bayne said. “It is none of those things. It is to build a platform and let God use us on the platform that He is building -- which might require me to become the best race-car driver or be the most marketable or most popular or whatever it is. I just want to stand on the platform that He is putting under me.”
Post-race, Darrell Waltrip commented that he wanted to speak with Trevor about the race during the parade lap before the green flag but had to wait for the radio to open up. Trevor was leading his crew in prayer over the radio just before the start. Darrell said, “Kids, are you looking for a role model? Check this boy out. He’s pretty cool.”
[Romans 12: 1-2] “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is -- His good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
I can’t avoid the old cliché, “a breath of fresh air,” when I witness a lifestyle like that of Trevor Bayne and other young top professionals who are building a reputation on the will of God, being model Christians. Will this race-car driver have fun and suffer setbacks? You bet he will. Will he ever amount to anything other than the winner of the Daytona 500? Who knows?
During an interview, Trevor said, “Now that I look back over the past few months of preparation, I can see God already knew I won.”
We are all racing down the road to forever looking for the prize at the end. When standing on the platforms of accomplishment of life, are we boasting ourselves or giving the glory to God and His will?
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. His e-mail is email@example.com. This column will be available in the Wilson County News when space is available.
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