The Finish Line

by DanWolgemuth on February 23, 2007

Clint Bowyer is not a household name for most individuals, but last Sunday he exploded onto television screens across the country. Bowyer is a 27-year-old from Emporia, KS that drives on the NASCAR circuit.

Last Sunday, at one of the most prestigious NASCAR venues, Clint Bowyer finished in 18th place in a field of 43. Unlike roughly 40% of the competitors, Clint finished all 202 laps. Those facts alone don’t make this a more compelling story than Kevin Harvick’s photo finish victory, but in so many ways Bowyer’s performance will be far more memorable for years to come. The reason is that Bowyer’s number 7 Chevrolet completed the last few feet of the 500-mile race upside down, and in flames. As the finish line approached, a chain reaction accident erupted just behind the front two competitors. Cars skidded, crashed, collided and sprayed across the track and infield, but Bowyer and his Chevy pointed toward the prize. Now propelled by momentum and not traction, the car moved toward the checkered flag. Bowyer crossed the finish line, wheels in the air with sparks flying. He’d done it. All 500 miles of Daytona, done.

It’s this picture, the one that is now the image on my laptop screen that inspires me to live my Christian faith to the fullest.

This morning I sat in the office of a man, many years my senior. I witnessed a fire in Stu’s soul and a courage in his conviction that immediately transported me to the Bowyer image. Stu is not prepared to run life at 50 MPH on cruise control, even though he’d have plenty of excuses to do just that. Instead he lives his life by the power of the Spirit and the fuel of the Great Commission. He’s not in the pack, he’s leading, and I’m quite certain, that much like Clint Bowyer, Stu will see to it that he enters his heavenly reward with all four wheels in the air and sparks flying. It’s this kind of life, this kind of love, this kind of passion that ignites something in me. Something that we were promised when the church burst on the scene.

And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; ~ Acts 2:17

That’s right, just like that. Dreaming dreams or seeing visions. I want to run this race well, from the green flag to the checkered flag. All in and all out.

Here’s to finishing well, all 202 laps, all 500 miles, upside down and with sparks flying! Like Bowyer, but much more like my friend Stu.

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