My wife and I went to the NASCAR race at Bristol yesterday and it confirmed something that I already knew: I am not a good NASCAR fan.
Actually it was confirmed first the night before the race, too. I had the privilege of meeting up with an online friend, Jason Wert (see his blogs here and here), in real life. He had won tickets to the race and was going to be spending the night near Knoxville; my wife and I had bought tickets to the race and live in Knoxville. And, amazingly, we all like to eat at regular intervals. So we decided to meet up for a late supper.
If you have read Jason’s blogs, you know that he likes NASCAR; if you have read my blog, you know that I like chicken-n-dumplins and my feet (and a few other things, I suppose). I have never given any indication that I am a big NASCAR fan. My wife, however, is a fan. Yesterday was our third trip to Bristol to see a race and her life B.M. (Before Matt) included trips to watch races in several other venues. So when our conversation on Saturday night focused on NASCAR, Kristy and Jason talked intelligently about it while I was left sounding like your weird uncle by saying things like, “I like the way Carl Edwards does flips when he wins.”
The real confirmation of my suspect NASCAR fan-dom took place during the actual race. The differences between me and the fans near me were as easily seen as the bald spot that has recently appeared in my facial hair. I have analyzed the differences and have come up with three main reasons why I am not a good NASCAR fan.
*By “good NASCAR fans”I do not mean ALL good NASCAR fans (Jason and my wife are good NASCAR fans who do not exhibit the behaviors listed below) I mean those who usually sit near me at the races.
1. I don’t drink beer. The three guys in front of us had at least 5 cans of beer each. They drank beer like I eat Hershey Kisses. They drank beer like my wife’s poodle eats cat litter. They drank beer like monkeys throw poo. They drank a lot of beer. Me? I drink a lot of sweet tea. That’s about it.
2. I’m not a bird flipper. The majority of the fans around me felt it necessary to make their displeasure apparent by raising their middle finger over and over again. When Kyle Busch took the lead–birds flew. When no one wrecked Kyle Busch–birds flew. When Kyle Busch won–birds flew. When Kyle Busch took his victory lap–birds flew. Did I mention that they didn’t like Kyle Busch?
3. I wash my hands after I use the restroom. Judging by what I saw in the men’s room, roughly 92% of NASCAR fans do not wash their hands after “taking care of business.” At least not during a race. Some people give high-fives to strangers during a race. Not me. I know better. Giving someone a high-five during a race is like saying, “Hey–can I have all of your grossest germs?” Um, no thank you.
I know that there are things that I have in common with real NASCAR fans–I love plaid, flannel, and funnel cakes as much as the next fan. But there are a few things that make me think that I am not a good NASCAR fan. And that’s okay. Being a good NASCAR fan is not high on my list of important things to be.
But being a good follow of Christ surely is. And I fail at that quite often, too.
Those failures can paralyze me and cause me to think that I shouldn’t keep trying because I know that more failures are on the horizon. Yet the Savior still beckons me to come, to serve, to walk with Him.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
I am not always a good follower of Christ. That is when I have to rely on the fact that Christ was good–perfect–for me. He did everything right so that when I fail as one of His followers, I continue to be clothed in His righteousness.
I am not a good NASCAR fan.
I am often not a good follower of Christ.
But Christ continues to be good and faithful to me.
And I am thankful.
(Are you a NASCAR fan? If so, who is your favorite driver? If not, who is your favorite Sesame Street character? How is your walk with Christ lately? Share away!)