Written by Gary Taylor
I've only been to one NASCAR race. Talladega. I went with some great friends who love racing, and who also love to "people watch." As you might guess, Talladega Raceway is an AWESOME place to people watch. The shirtless guy who wears a car tire like a skirt...priceless (and disturbing).
To those of us who know very little of the sport, NASCAR may seem like little more than mashing the accelerator and turning left. A series of left turns at Talladega bring them back to where they started, over and over again. I was seated at the start/finish line, a mere 3 rows removed from the protective fencing. The roar of the cars shook my chest like nothing I'd ever experienced. At 200mph, the cars whooshed! past with tornado-force.
There I sat watching guys (and Danika Patrick) return, over and over again, to the place where they started.
This past Sunday we learned about another church that began well, but the people of that church needed to make a couple more lefts in order to return to that good place where they had started. For those of us prone to driving off in the wrong direction, God calls us to repentance: a series of lefts, so to speak, designed to bring us back to the starting line of Garden-like union with Creator God.
What if our church had so many repenting Christians that the world showed up to "people watch"? What if repentance was like a Holy Roar and whoosh! of hearts speedily returning to Jesus? What if there was such a drastic change in us - a series of turns towards stunning Christlikeness - that it captured the attention and the hearts of our city? What if???