Rev. Jim Jack
By Jim Jack

Anyone who loves motorsports loves it for many reasons. Most of us use our five senses as we see, hear, smell, feel and taste our favorite form of racing from every possible angle, which gives us a unique perspective because we’re all different in so many ways.

If you look at a Top Fuel Hydro from a side view, it’s sleek and awe-inspiring. If you look at a Top Fuel Hydro from the front you’re not sure what you are looking at. If you look at a Top Fuel Hydro from the back as it is roaring down the liquid racetrack at over 260 mph, all you see is a huge rooster tail of water spraying hundreds of feet into the air.

If you look at a Top Fuel Dragster from a side view, it’s long, sleek, and awesome. If you look at a Top Fuel Dragster from the front it resembles a plane with the wing in front and a large wing in the back. If you look at a Top Fuel Dragster from the back as it is thundering down the racetrack you see clouds of dark clutch dust as it disappears from sight in about three seconds, then two parachutes pop out to help slow the vehicle down from 330 mph.

Anamorphic art in racing initially appears as an assortment of random parts on a Top Fuel Hydro or a Top Fuel Dragster: To quote Our Daily Bread devotional, “An anamorphic sculpture only makes sense when viewed from the correct angle.”

There are many correct angles when viewing a drag racing machine: When it sits stealthily silent and subdued in its pit space, when warming up its impressive high-horsepower engine, when idling on the starting line on the race course, and especially when the driver stomps on the throttle and those thousands of horses come alive.

This type of machine streaks down the track at full tilt: When the motor shuts off and the horses are silent after three seconds of thunderous fury and power…you hear the announcer shout from the tower…ladies and gentlemen at this very hour…no need to cower…you just witnessed the cheers of a world record fill the air like a mighty thunder storm shower.

The exquisite and anamorphic artwork of racing and racing machines is at times dreamlike to those who love it, witness it, and cherish it. It’s like a fine piece of art that you’ll find in a museum of history. In fact, drag racing does have some great pieces of history locked away within millions of photos in books, magazines, museums, and minds of motorized madness that at times may mobilize many men and women…costing them millions of yen…hoping to inspire the next gen…branching out from their own den…what then…knowing God has them covered like the wings of a mother hen…as we all say a big amen!

Art incorporates all kinds of shapes and sizes to those who are willing to embrace their love for it. What you love may not be what I love, and what I love may not be what you love, but we both can love the fact that what we love is in the eye of every beholder.

C.S. Lewis noted when people find something they love, they naturally want other people to join them in praising it. Isn’t that painting beautiful? Wasn’t that play magnificent? “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.”

You and I and others in the world around us are consumed with many things…a cell phone that constantly rings…a person that beautifully sings…a bird with bright colored wings…some prefer queens and others kings…we particularly love our cars and trucks and boats without any dents or dings.

When we get excited about something—racing, sports, music, art, family, friends, Christianity—we want the whole world to join in on our excitement. Psalm 47:1 proclaims “Clap your hands…shout to God with cries of joy.”

Think about watching a driver or a crewperson working on the engine of their racing machine. It can be a form of artwork depending on how you view it. Their mind is thinking about their next tuning move, their hands physically establish the setup; their feet may be shuffling to the beat of the music that’s playing in their pit. Their hot rod may be silent, but it is still a fine piece of artwork whether assembled or disassembled.

Think about Noah and his ark? It was a huge piece of wooden art that took him 120 years to build. During the building process, many people ridiculed him for building a boat in the middle of nowhere. Rain, what rain? It’s never rained here, so why build a big old boat that may never touch water? I’m sure to those people that old boat never looked like anything special.

But when the rain water was up to their waist and rising, that old wooden boat looked like the greatest piece of manmade art the known world had ever seen…then in between…drops of heavy rain they did glean…some of their previous words to Noah were very mean…they should have had a sense he was building something keen…something they’d never before experienced or seen…and should have listened to God and become obedient to their Creator: The Administrative Dean.

If we take a sincere look at all of the people around us, genuinely look at creation, and taking a heartfelt look at our own life—eternal life is staring us in the face. We will realize the most beautiful piece of art was also made of wood, the same stuff found in and on the Noah’s ark and somewhere on most drag boats: An old rugged wooden cross that was the road to salvation and real life, eternal life, for all whosoever believe in it from any angle.

When a drag boat capsule saves a driver from injury in a crash, they look at it and say “Thank you” to the designer of that artful capsule, from the inside looking out during the mishap and the outside view afterwards believing and knowing it worked at saving a life.

When God literally saves us, we become “art-full dodgers” dodging separation from God and hell and we thankfully get to enjoy a spared life. Accepting the gift of a saved life whether in a racing incident or during an eternal episode should always bring joy and peace. Winning eternal life is the best trophy you can display. In reality, Christ looks correct from a cross angle.

The capsule, the competition, the cross, the cost, the forgiven charge, the view that love is stronger than any earthly material, love is stronger than injustice, God’s love is stronger when viewed from a heavenly angle, as real love continues to triumph.

For most racing enthusiasts, gazing from any angle at a racing event, a racing boat, car, truck, or motorcycle is a heavenly piece of anamorphic art. When the Lord of heaven lovingly looks at you my friend, He knows you are a one-of-a-kind piece of art that He created, and He realizes there is a battle, and the biggest race of your life is going on for your soul. “Consider how precious the soul must be when both God and the devil are after it,” (Charles Spurgeon).

Choose the art that never fades, the art that never dies, and will always be the most beautiful thing you’ll ever lay your eyes on. Please don’t be the last one to know what’s going on around you. Let’s all view the Lord from the best angle so we benefit eternally.

Anamorphic Art: In December 1989, an RFC group, Ken & Ann Owen, Jim & Tammy Head, Ted & Gail Mitchell, Art & Judy Crumley, Linda, I and ten others went to Israel, and then on to Rome where we visited the Sistine Chapel. As we walked down the Chapel hallway, a huge tapestry was on the wall to our left. Approaching the tapestry, we saw the eyes of all the people depicted on it looking at us, and as we moved along, all the eyes of all the people in this work of art shifted and watched us as we walked by and then watched us as we walked away…their eyes didn’t stray…on that cloudy day…when skies were gray…I said to Linda Kay…how awesome maybe we should pray…perhaps the Spirit has something to say…did you see all those moving eyes today…it was like God saying see My eyes, and remember I am the only way!

The Bible tells us one of the two thieves—amid the gasps, sighs, and groans—being crucified next to Jesus recognized the divine artwork of a Savior who ended up being the most beautiful Person that sinner had ever laid eyes on even through all the scourging and dripping blood…the nails were pounded in all their hands and feet with a heavy thud…Jesus’ blood turning Golgotha’s dirt into reddish mud…forgiveness coming down from heaven was an unconditional love flood…this revelation was real and never a dud…eternal life was about to blossom and bud…from Jesus the One and Only heavenly Stud!