I say it every morning when I awaken from a night trying to sleep in that bunk bed in my son’s camper. I need to find a way to make that more comfortable. I have taken the mattress from the upper bunk and placed it on top of the lower mattress, but in actuality it is still simply two pieces of foam placed on a board. Its hard, and uncomfortable, but its out of the weather and safe so there is that. My son made the morning brighter by appearing with breakfast biscuits from the food truck. Extricating myself from the bunk I moved to the table to share his acquired bounty.
After eating my son decided he wanted to take another ride on his bike while I got ready for the day. I wasn’t sure what time he wanted to wander down to the track or when any of the pre-race events began. My son is the one with the knowledge, he is the tour guide and I am the tourist. And I am fine with that.
After he got back we did go out and wander about for a while. We went down to the midway and checked out what was there, then back and wandered around the souvenir tents and ended up with ice cream. Back at the camper we waited for time to go to the race. I dozed a bit and I’m sure he did as well because we were a bit late leaving the camper. We could hear the race beginning as we made our way. We had not gotten far when we felt the first drops of rain falling. Almost immediately we could hear the cars slowing. Obviously they did not want a repeat of that event in a prior race when so many vehicles were caught up in rain and wrecked. By the time we had got to our seats they were preparing to restart.
As a side note, at Darlington speedway, when you get in the gates, to get up and yes, I said up, to the stands you have to make your way up what looks to be a thousand steps. It isn’t, but it looks and feels like it because they are almost as bad as the steps at the mountain I love to hike. I say almost because these steps have handrails. I didn’t take a photo of these steps meaning I have no proof, so I’m asking you to simply trust me here.
Once the race was underway again we settled in to watch. It was a good race with strong competition among the contenders. Modern gladiators in their own style coliseum. Though the new cars do not sound the same, there is still that roar that comes up and fills the air. Every sport holds its own excitement that you can feel building with each passing moment.
Then my son leaned over and showed me his phone. There was a storm approaching and it was moving almost as fast as the cars on the track. We could see the clouds behind us, and if a cloud covering can look serious, this looked serious. When the first drops of rain began we moved to under the stands. Do we wait it out? Do we go back to the camper? After waiting a few minutes it didn’t appear that it was going to rain harder so we made our way back to our seats. We were not there long before it became apparent that we were in for a downpour. Leaving our seats we headed for the camper.
The further we walked, the harder it seemed to rain. By the time we were out the gate, we were already wet. By the time we had passed under the Darlington archway, we were soaked. When we reached the point where we were two thirds of the way to the camper, I remembered that I had rain ponchos in my bag. Too late, we were both already so wet you could wring us out. Arriving at the camper my son unlocked the door and I went inside to change while he move the generator to under the canopy he had left open. He had left it to try and block some of the afternoon sun, now it was covering the generator from the rain. Once he came inside he too went to change into something a bit less damp. The small bathroom offers privacy but not much room to move around.
Then, we waited. They had not reached the halfway point when the rain arrived and it was still early in the afternoon. We hoped they wouldn’t call it but would restart once again after the rain had passed and the track could be dried. This took approximately an hour and a half. I say approximately because I really don’t remember. I do remember having to put wet shoes back on since they were the only pair I had with me. It wasn’t the best feeling, but it wasn’t unbearable. Returning to our seats we prepared for the restart.
My favorite Xfinity driver is Noah Gragson, he was leading when the rain interrupted and I was hoping the delay hadn’t derailed that mindset needed to continue and win the race. I won’t go into all the details of the race, I’m not an announcer after all. I will say it turned out to be well worth being there. I did not have a headset on so I had no idea officially what was going on but I could see than Noah was not in the lead and we were close to the end of the race. The two drivers ahead of him were determined that they were going to win this race. My thoughts were that if Noah was to win, those two would have to take each other out, and they did. Noah slid by and won. Only I didn’t realize that the race was that close to ending and I thought another caution had been thrown. I turned to my son and asked what happened. He looked at me as if I were so hopelessly clueless then realized that I wasn’t using the headset. “Noah won, its over.” Ah, okay. We hung around for a while watching the celebration before turning to make our way back to the camper.
My son had hoped that the food truck would still be open but it wasn’t. He needed gas for the generator anyway so he unhooked the car from the camper and headed for a nearby gas station. Once back he had brought some containers of soup. It would be so much easier and cheaper if he would let me bring food to prepare but nope. After eating I enjoyed a cup of hot tea and then decided to call it a night. The day and the summer sun had taken its toll on me and I was ready for another attempt at sleep.
Its amazing how events can help us realize important things.
Storms happen. Rain is going to fall and you are going to get wet. Even if you have a form of protection from the rain it doesn’t help if you keep it in a bag. God the Father, Jesus our Lord, is always with us. Always there for us, but cannot help us if we try to do things on our own, leaving them in the bag. We have to turn to them, seek them, request their help. We have to take them out of the bag, the box, the back pocket and allow them to be in our lives. We need to walk with them, talk with them, follow them, having them be a part of everything in our life. The good and the not so good.
As we walked in the rain, I thought about the controversy a couple weeks back where an individual was unhappy with Drew Barrymore over her video of frolicking in the rain. I didn’t dance, or twirl or frolick in any form, but I was enjoying the moment. Amazing that if we seek it, we can find enjoyment even in some of the storms. We can walk through the storms, when we know we are not in them alone. There is a poem that mentions footsteps in the sand. Where the Lord is walking with us along the way, then suddenly the footprints became a bit erratic and the Lord said that was when we danced. I think, that the Lord would enjoy dancing with us, frolicking if you will, in the rain.
In the race, Noah won because the two who were in front, took each other out. Noah was riding behind them, watching their actions. His eye was on what lay past them. In the end, as he moved past them, due to their aggressiveness, he took the prize. As we go through life, we can see the things that are blocking us, that are slowing us down, preventing our progress. If we take our time, watch carefully, and act when the time is right, we too can reach out goal. Now I’m not saying the Lord is a NASCAR fan and caused what happened so Noah could win. I’m saying that the devil will cause things to be in our way. Especially if we are living our life for the Lord. Especially if we are accomplishing things for the Kingdom. The devil will do all he can to slow and prevent us from winning. But if we watch carefully and act accordingly, we can avoid his traps and move past for the victory.
When we win our race, there won’t be burn outs or fireworks, that I know of anyway. I do know that we will be welcomed home with joy. While racers seek that checkered flag, my hope is to hear simply, “Well done, good and faithful servant”.