Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Right Thing

Lewis Hamilton
This past Sunday my wife and I witnessed something that we humans never get to see much of these days - someone displaying integrity, sacrifice, honor and gratitude in a world where all four of those things are in short supply.

This public example happened on the very last lap of the Hungarian Grand Prix as the third place car, driven by three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, slowed and allowed his teammate to pass him on the very last corner.

Formula One is all about glitz and glamor. It's all about the rich, and partying and spending millions of dollars just so one team can beat another. It's all about winning. Everything that the world says is good. It's the last place you'd expect to see an example of sacrifice, one man giving up HIS interests for those of another.

There are two teams battling for the top spot in Formula One this year - Ferrari and Mercedes. The teams compete in a Constructors Championship and the drivers compete for the individual drivers championship. The team comes first. The number one driver (Lewis Hamilton, in this case) gets priority over the number two driver (Valteri Bottas) who is often asked to slow down and let the number one driver past. Sadly, that very thing happened on Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton leads Valteri Bottas
Each team consists of two drivers and both Ferrari drivers were in the lead on Sunday. The Mercedes number two driver (Bottas) was third and their number one driver (Hamilton) was fourth. Part way through the race the Mercedes number two driver slowed and allowed his teammate to pass him - giving up a certain podium finish as he did so. All this to allow his teammate a chance for victory.

Wow. Talk about sacrifice!

But the neither of the Mercedes cars was a match for the two Ferarris that day and Lewis Hamilton was going to have to settle for third. But instead he mysteriously slowed down in the last corner, allowing his teammate to pass him. By doing this he basically was saying, "Thank you for your sacrifice so that I had a chance to win.

Wow. What an example of gratitude and maturity. Placing the interests of someone else ahead of his own. What an example of Jesus and what our response to the Gospel should be!

Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross so that WE might have a chance for victory - forgiveness of sin, eternal life, no more pain or suffering. Victory! How should we respond?

In light of what Jesus did for us, what do you see in this example of Lewis allowing his teammate to pass? What should OUR response be to what Jesus did for us as He sacrificed His life?

For me it is to offer MY life as a sacrifice for Him. I see a responsibility in my response to the cross to lay down my life for the one who sacrificed Himself for me. That is what Christianity is about - obedience, sacrifice, mercy and grace.

My wife and I love to hate Lewis Hamilton. He always does well and usually wins his fair share of races. We have always cheered whenever he fails to finish a race. We have loved it where he doesn't win. But all that changed on Sunday with one act of doing what was right.

Each of us must respond to the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. It is right and honorable to do so. The question is will we make that response before the end of OUR race here on earth. Or will we cross the finish line of life without recognition of the One who sacrificed Himself on our behalf?

"12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." - Romans 12:1-2

At The Cross - Chris Tomlin
Lewis Hamilton Post Race Interview

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