By Chad Bonham
2012 Samsung Mobile 500: Texas Motor Speedway (April 14, 2012)
At seven o’clock on a Saturday morning, five NASCAR drivers that normally would have been awaking from their motor coaches instead found themselves in a Dallas suburb. Trevor Bayne, Blake Koch, Michael McDowell, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Josh Wise joined a small group of volunteers from Samaritan’s Purse to help clean up a neighborhood that a powerful tornado had ransacked less than two weeks earlier.
The night before, Stenhouse had won the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth where Koch and Wise had also competed. Later that evening, Bayne, McDowell, and Wise would take the track for the Samsung Mobile 500. Yet here they all were giving what little free time they had to perform acts of kindness for total strangers.
“We weren’t NASCAR drivers there,” Koch told BillyGraham.org. “We were there to share the love of Christ.”
And it wasn’t the first time that the highly competitive group had done so.
“In the past, we’ve also loaded up goody bags and fed the homeless,” McDowell told Christian Sports Journal.” We’ve done that in a lot of cities. Here in Charlotte we try to get out and do things like that spontaneously.”
According to McDowell, the desire to serve others has flowed out of a weekly Bible study with chaplains from Motor Racing Outreach where they have been motivated to live out a seminal New Testament teaching.
“Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’” (Matthew 20:25-28)
“We’re in an environment where people are treated like stars and it’s easy to be self-centered,” McDowell added. “We’re always challenging each other to not fall into that trap and to keep our eyes on Jesus. Our motivation comes from what He teaches in Matthew 20 about having an attitude of serving others and not looking to be served.”
This devotional is brought to you by Museum of the Bible, a 430,000 square foot museum being constructed 3 blocks south of the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. and is set to open in November of 2017.
(Photos: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images; Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)