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Whitney Williams - Lessons from the track

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WORLD Radio - Whitney Williams - Lessons from the track

The racetrack proves to be ground for teaching a lesson about proceeding with caution


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NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Tuesday, July 12th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST:And I’m Mary Reichard. Here’s WORLD commentator Whitney Williams on lessons she learned from the speedway.

AMBI: SPEEDWAY SOUNDS

“Here it is, boys, the Big O Speedway,” my husband announces.

We pull our dirty blue Chevy truck off of a quiet country highway in Ennis, Texas and make our way past a pond up a long gravel drive. About a hundred yards to our right sits an oval dirt racetrack, holding the promise of a redneck good time, my husband teases.

Colorful cars littered with racing decals lure our three little boys toward the pits. Kind drivers invite them to funnel down through rooftop hatches and driver-side door windows.

Inside, my boys find the cars stripped down to the metal, gutted to their bare bones. They ask why, of course, and the drivers oblige, teaching them about the need to get rid of excess weight in order to race more efficiently. And how’d they figure that out? Why, from their racing predecessors, of course.

We take out our Bibles and turn to Hebrews 12:1-3. Not really, but I do turn my mind there. The Message paraphrase says it this way: “Do you see what this means—All these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed.”

Cries of hunger pull my thoughts out of Hebrews, so we walk to the concessions area, load up on popcorn, soft pretzels, and overpriced Dr. Pepper, and head to the stands.

An hour or so later, under the glow of a lighted Sunoco fuel sign, the gentlemen officially start their engines, inspiring my husband and I to emit our best Tim-the-Tool-Man-Taylor grunts.

SOUND: [GRUNTS]

We laugh together at our silliness, a green flag flies, and the cars are off at break-neck speed …

Until they’re not.

A few laps into the race, two drivers, each fighting for the win, take the corner a little too tightly. Their cars fishtail, slam into one another, and spin out. Parts fly, as does the yellow flag, signaling a caution period.

Now the other drivers have to slow down and stay alert, we explain to our boys about the caution … there’s destruction up ahead, you see, and if they want to finish well, they don’t need to get wrapped up in it.

“That’ll preach!” I think to myself, as I consider all of the yellow flags of scripture and the blessings that come from taking heed.

I semi-shout my thoughts to my husband over the roar of the motors: “Not many wrecks happen under a caution flag, you know?”

I’m Whitney Williams.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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