Wow what an end to the season
Written by Cowboy6 Tuesday, 23 September 2008 00:00
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Wow! What an end to the season. The Lord really put the screws to me and my pride this weekend. He also allowed me to send a message to all in attendance about perseverance.

In James 1:2-4 it is written:
“ Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

Too many are eager to give up when things get tough. I speak not only of racing or work but in relationships. We tend to give up on each other all too quickly when we reach an impasse or conflict that can’t be resolved easily. Unfortunately, many follow the same path with God. If things don’t go our way or a prayer isn’t answered the way we want it, we give up on God, some to the point of walking away from their faith.

Many years ago before I had a real relationship with the Lord, I held my little girl, Antonia (Toni) Noelle, lifeless in my arms. She had died in my wife’s womb but was delivered normally. As my wife and I held her for 3 hours after her birth, I could not help but think of how perfect she was. Everything on her was perfectly formed, fully developed, and only a few weeks short of her due date. She was beautiful. There was no reason for her to be there, in my arms, not breathing, and lifeless. While I raged inside and cried outside, I walked away…
I felt that there could not be a God who would allow this dear little creature to die never having had the chance to live. I thought the atheists were right, there was no God. I gave up.
My wife went the other way. Within two years of Toni’s death, my wife accepted Jesus as her savior and secured her place with our Father for eternity. I on the other hand did not. But the Lord had other plans. He used my wife to reach me. It was very hard on her. It took nine years! But, unlike me, she never gave up. She had faith and prayed constantly that I would hear God’s Word. Her perseverance was incredible.
Now, whenever I am tempted to give up, I think of my wife and rejoice that she never gave up on me. I am a different person now. With Jesus Christ in my heart and running my life, God has opened so many doors and my life is rich and full. I now know that I can do nothing without Him and that I can do anything with Him. And, most importantly, I NEVER give up!
This weekend my daughter Cecilia who crews our bikes, showed patience and commitment with me as well. I am sure glad she pays attention to Mom!

This race weekend was all about James 1. Practice on Friday was abysmal. There were so many bikes on the track it was nuts. A good many of them were incredibly slow which made it somewhat dangerous. In fact, our Brother John Dodson fell victim in T3 and broke his right collar bone in the resulting crash. He is doing well but had to head home Saturday morning.
These slowmen also resulted in not really being able to learn the track as you rarely entered a turn at a realistic speed to judge braking points and turn-in. But, in spite of this, I kept going. When, with two practice sessions left, my supersport bike had engine failure, I hopped on the other bike and kept going…
I had planned on splitting the test day between the two bikes to save on tire wear. But, since we could not find a way to attach a steering damper to the “B” bike, I had to run all day on the “A” bike. The tires were toast. With no money for a new set, I prayed to God for guidance and help. I made a phone call. I had asked God for rain. Now, I had to have faith and prepare for it. We proceeded to start the engine change.
That night, with help from Cecilia, friends and a few strangers, we dropped the engines from both bikes and at midnight, the “A” bike had the superbike engine installed. The “B” bike looked like we left it in South Philadelphia over night. There was nothing left but a frame and front end! Saturday morning, when practice started, so did my bike, and I kept going.
Saturday brought a phone call in response to the one I made Friday night. A generous friend gave me his credit card information and the Pirelli guy took it in exchange for a brand new set of slicks. God’s answer to my prayers was loud and clear. Race 1 resulted in a 5th out of 23 in F40 but that is a middle and heavyweight class with 600 and 750 inline fours as well as 1000cc+ twins such as the 999, 1098, RC51 etc. So, 5th is outstanding for my little SV. Because I no longer had a SS legal engine in the bike, I had to drop LWSS and last-minute enter GTL. We managed 2nd out of 20 in that race after starting from dead last (due to the late entry) twice due to a red flag. It was starting to rain.
Sunday, in the heat of race 1, LW40, I crashed in turn one at the start of the second-to-last lap. It was a 60-70 mph low-side that left me flipping head over heals as said feet dug into the dirt at the edge of the asphalt. Once I stopped my attempt at a gold medal for the floor exercise, I jumped up and ran to the bike. After picking it up, I cranked on it until it finally fired off, found first gear and took off. Upon entry into the next corner, I found that not only was my right clip-on spun fwd into an awkward position but my brake lever was bend upward. Ah, Brembo folding lever here, so I just pushed it back down and applied the brakes. Everything was working! Time to CHARGE! Just after crossing the start/finish and taking the white flag, I passed two bikes under braking into T1. After passing one more that last lap, I took the checkered. The results showed…..P1 !! I had won after all! For such a sunny day, God’s rain was sure pouring down. After some frantic repairs in the pits, and testing Cecilia’s patience with my being in a rush, I went back out for my second and last race for the day.
The last race was the LW Superbike event. After Cecilia sent me out of the pit, I lined up with two very fast Buell 1200’s and a herd of others. The green flag dropped and off we went. With two laps to go, I made a mistake trying to get around a slowman and catch the two Buells that were now in the lead. This mistake caused me to go off the track and try some agricultural maneuvers. Upon re-entry, the rear of the bike kicked up just as I dropped back to the seat with the throttle pinned. Unknown to me at the immediate time, this combination had snapped two of the 1” square tubes of my sub-frame clean in half! I immediately caught up to the guy I was trying to pass under braking at the next turn so I was happy to have not lost any position from the mistake. After hanging off through this (T7) turn, I pushed back in the seat under acceleration. The seat dropped under me and freaked me out! As I scooted up on the seat again it moved back up a bit. This repeated several times so I decided that I would just “cool it” and ride this out to take my third. I was afraid that I would be “meatballed” by the corner workers if something started falling off or rubbing a tire. Besides, my brakes were going away and stopping was becoming increasingly difficult. As it turned out, while “cooling it” I ended up turning the fastest lap of our race on the last lap with a broken sub-frame! In the end I was awarded 2nd out of 29 because one of the Buell riders had gridded incorrectly and was penalized a lap.
In the midst of such adversity, our team pulled out a win and two second place podiums!

"…Everything is possible for him who believes."
— Mark 9:23 (NIV)

Never give up. The Lord can’t make things happen for you if you don’t participate in life. Things will not always work out like this race weekend did. That is OK too. The Lord has a plan. He knows what it is, we do not. Accepting what He gives us is the key. It is hard not to be disappointed sometimes when things go wrong according to us. But we need to remember that we are to live according to Him!

Now, we (Cecilia and I) can really dig into some outreach using these shiny machines to get people’s attention and using our experiences at the track as relative examples all to share the Word.