I have never attended a church service in a garage before. But on race day at the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500, I had the wonderful opportunity to do just that.
It was held in Garage 16 in Gasoline Alley at the Brickyard at 8:30 a.m. It was open to anyone who wanted to worship.
About 65 people attended the 30-minute service, conducted by IndyCar Ministry. There was a total of four services held throughout the morning. I thought it was cool to sit and attend a church service four hours before the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
I had met the co-founder of Kingdom Racing the day before, and we hit it off and developed a friendship. On race day about 7:30 a.m., I bumped into him and his wife walking on the track. About an hour later, we sat together during chapel.
As you can imagine, it was a little hard to hear the service. After all, there were about 100,000 people at the track by 8:30 a.m. But I could honestly feel the Holy Spirit there in that tiny garage. It was quite the experience to sit a few hundred feet from the race track and worship God.
After a few songs and communion, Jason Holt, a chaplain with IndyCar Ministry, gave a nice and concise message and invited those in attendance to come to Christ.
He has always been affiliated with racing and drove cars competitively for more than 24 years. He never made it to the field in the Indy 500, but that has not disappointed him.
“To be here as a driver would have brought me to my knees,” Jason told me after the service. “And it’s not that I had the wrong dream at all – I just had the wrong purpose. I know why I am here now.”
Obviously, God knew and had a plan for Jason. The Lord wanted him at the 500, not as a racer but as a minister of the Gospel.
“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:4
Jason knew he wanted to be around auto racing, particularly the IndyCar style. He worked and raced for more than two decades before he realized his true calling and place in the sport.
Last year, he was asked to join the circuit as a part-time chaplain. He had been leading Bible studies for racing teams, so he knew it was a fit. He immediately agreed and has been having a blast. He goes to races all over the country and gets to spread the Word of God at the same time.
“It’s so cool to be able to lead church services before the races,” Jason said. “It just blows my mind that I’m doing this.”
His story has given me hope to continue down the path I am going. He doesn’t know this – unless he reads my blog – but our little three-minute conversation inspired me.
Jason was around the sport he loved for years, but he was not fully enjoying what he was doing behind the wheel until he let the Lord take him for a drive. Once he became the passenger in the car, instead of the one steering, he embarked on the most fulfilling journey of his life.
“This is what I am supposed to be doing,” he told me.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
His lesson to me and those reading this blog is not to give up on the Lord. Your calling will be revealed to you once you truly sell out and seek God’s will. However, be ready for something you never thought of before. Last week’s blog dealt with a man who knew nothing about professional racing but was called by God to start Kingdom Racing, and he now ministers to thousands of people through auto racing. Your calling might be something you love, or it might be something foreign to you. Expect the unexpected from the Holy Spirit.
Just be open to His calling and imagination. Something you never thought of might be right up your alley. Get into God’s Word, seek Him in prayer, be open to the possibilities and hold on, because your ride might just be starting.
For more information on IndyCar Ministry, visit online at http://indycarministry.org/our-ministry/
“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:17
Are you seeking His will in your life? What are you doing about it?