Looking out my window today I’m pondering the end of summer. A quick glance at the calendar tells me the Labor Day long weekend is almost here! The long weekend will find me at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville for another fun filled weekend of race action. Not only am I attending the NASCAR truck race, but I will also connect with Kyle Froman, a Chaplain with Motor Racing Outreach.
MRO is an amazing organization connected with all levels of the NASCAR series. They provide Chaplains who attend each race throughout the season. The Chaplains do a number of things while at the track. They organize Bible studies and also hold chapel services before each race. But aside from the practical side, most importantly, the Chaplains build friendships with those who are at the track week in and week out. As you can well imagine, the NASCAR community is rather large when you combine drivers, crew members, NASCAR officials and family members all into one place. For many involved in the sport, little time is spent at home as they travel from track to track. Travel also means a disconnect from any kind of home or local church. That’s where MRO comes into the picture. Each and every week the MRO Chaplains become the Pastor’s and church connection for those on the road.
I discovered MRO a few years ago while researching a Faith In NASCAR feature. Through the years I’ve had opportunities to interview a number of drivers, and others, who attend weekly services and are growing in their faith, while trackside. It’s always a joy talking with others about their faith and how they connect their faith with their job. For the most part, MRO ministers to drivers and those directly connected with the sport. However, that’s not to say fans can’t attend chapel services as well. As Nick Terry – the Chaplain I was with in Michigan puts it – while they don’t search out fans to attend chapel services, if some find their way to a service, they are not turned away. This opened up an entirely new side of MRO I hadn’t seen before.
While attending the Sunday Chapel service in Michigan, Nick introduced a couple in attendance who wandered into the chapel service two years ago. At the time, the couple found themselves in a rocky situation with their marriage. As a matter of fact, the couple said the race weekend would be the last weekend they would be together as they planned to divorce. Little did they know, their lives would never be the same. Little did Nick know that as he shared with the drivers and crew members about marriage, the same message was speaking directly to the two fans in the room.
To make a long story short, after the service the couple spoke with Nick and a short time later found themselves connected into a church. They’re marriage is now stronger than ever and they attribute a large part of the restoration not only to God, but also to the faithfulness of the Chaplains working with Motor Racing Outreach. God will meet us anywhere. He is in the business of restoring broken lives and He will meet us right where we are.
The restoration of the marriage trackside, reminds me of another restoration that took place at a well side. A woman with a rather checkered past found herself at a well in the presence of Jesus. She went to draw water from the well. By the time she left, she found herself full of joy walking in new life. A chance meeting beside a well, turned into a God meeting with Jesus who told her about Living Water which would fully restore her life back to God’s original plan. No matter what’s going on in your life, God is always waiting to meet you, wherever you are, and give you new life with purpose and destiny.
Looking Out My Window is a regular column in the Northumberland Today newspaper located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.