Holding Strong on Life’s Speedway
ENDURANCE. Patience. Longsuffering.
They are all qualities the Bible uses to describe living a Christian life.
They are also qualities which come in quite handy when pressing the accelerator flat to the floor in a stock car named Hornet while ripping around the Daytona International Speedway.
Daytona USA, developed by Sega, is widely regarded as one of the most successful arcade games to have ever been created.
For a game released in 1993, it has a remarkably long lifespan, being still found in cinema foyers, bowling alleys and airport arcades around the world.
Players choose from three circuits - beginner (eight laps), advanced (four laps) and expert (two laps).
These tracks aren’t just for a leisurely Sunday meander around the block though. They can be hard and taxing, requiring continued concentration from the player.
Egging you on through the game is that throbbing theme music with the catchy line, “Daytonaaaaaaaaaaaa” infiltrating your ears, probably for the rest of the day.
Of course, you’re not the only one on the track, so just navigating the corners and straights isn’t enough - you have to allow for other players.
Here’s where those qualities at the start of this come in - endurance, patience, longsuffering.
The Apostle Paul likes to use these words in his New Testament letters to churches and individual Christians.
They are used to encourage and inspire the recipient to keep on going, to press on, to not lose heart in this life.
Living God’s way is an endurance event. There are other players jostling, bumping (sometimes on purpose) and knocking you about to get ahead, to get in front or just to damage you on purpose.
At these moments, it’s vital to keep pushing forward, to absorb the knocks and rumble forward. Even if you suffer a major crash (ie. give in to an addiction, have a severe break-up with a friend, lose a colleague/job/title), God doesn’t want you to stay there, bogged in anguish.
The Bible says God gives endurance (Romans 15:5) so He fully understands the need to keep going, even if you’re taking a few knocks and your tyres are now lumpy.
Feeling a bit like a beaten up stock car after seven laps? Go to God for a pitstop and reset. He’ll refresh you, ready for another “rolling staaaaaaaarrrrrttttt!”.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
-Hebrews 12: 1