In 2004 Michelle and I walked through the back tunnel of Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, leaping into the unknown with a new adventure in the world of motorsports ministry.
For two years I served as the Chaplain of Fairgrounds Speedway, with Michelle by my side, endeavoring to simply love others as we loved ourselves…exposing them to Jesus along the way.
We felt we would be there forever.
Yet 2006 was a year of change for us, as God continued to lead us into new territories.
I still remember what it felt like for Michelle and I to walk across the back straightway of Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, NC to enter the garage area of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour for the first time ever.
For the next nine years we wove ourselves into the fabric of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour doing our best to share Jesus with our new ‘family’.
We felt we would be there forever.
2015 brought about another transition. One in which I said ‘see you real soon’ to our NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour family and introduced myself to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series community.
For the past three years that is where I have been. Doing my best to love and to serve as Jesus would.
I felt I would be here forever.
But here is the thing, part of giving your life in service to God means that things are ever changing. When we live sacrificially we are allowing God to use our story for His glory. That’s part of being a living sacrifice…it’s part of our worship.
While this past year has been full of opportunity for myself and the rest of the Motor Racing Outreach team, it has also been a trying year for MRO financially. As our sport and our economy have continued to change, so has the financial support of MRO.
As a result, MRO has had to make some difficult decisions in order to posture itself for continued service within the NASCAR community.
One of those difficult decisions is the dissolution of my position with MRO. While I certainly never wished for nor anticipated being laid off, the economics I understand.
Following a beautiful 14 year journey in motorsports ministry my tenure is coming to an unexpected close.
Do know this, MRO is not going away. While the execution of MRO’s mission may look a little different in the time ahead, the presence of MRO will remain steadfast within the NASCAR community.
It is just that the time has come once again for our family to turn the page.
I’m deeply saddened, yet full of hope.
I’m inwardly broken, yet being rebuilt.
In the end, I’m okay.
I will continue to celebrate what God is doing through Motor Racing Outreach in the NASCAR community.
The past fourteen years have been indescribable as I have witnessed firsthand the ways God continues to reveal Himself to those whom He deeply loves.
I’ve come to experience life, relationship and community in incredible ways as our family has walked down this road.
And the people, oh the people we have met on this journey. Relationships we will carry with us until our stories are through.
It is not some empty platitude when we say we love each and every person we have served along the way.
At times it has been unbelievably hard, yet it has been undeniabley rewarding.
I’m reminded of what Tony Arata wrote for one of Garth Brooks’ hit songs, “I could have missed the pain but I’d of had to miss the dance.“
This truly has been a remarkable chapter in our lives.
But here we are looking at a new, blank page. Anticipating what may be next. While we don’t know exactly what all that may be, what we know is this…what is to come will not be less, rather more for the Kingdom.
As a family we are growing, we are learning and we are moving. We know what is behind was a part of preparing us for what is next, so we eagerly are watching the horizon out of the windshield.
NASCAR driver Michael McDowell recently wrote a statement that has provided us much hope as we look at the blank page ahead; “I may not know what the future holds, but I know the One who holds it.“
We know in the end that our story is really only about one thing, His glory.