Rev. Jim Jack

By  Jim Jack

Tell me, what’s love got to do with it? Love has a lot to do with everything…definitive love you hope and pray it will bring…having the best racing tune-up you’d love to cling…for true love you may even sing…buy her a lovely diamond ring…climb a tree and swing…change the angle of your hot rod’s wing…remember God is always the Love King.

An alliance of old-time drag racers formed a group named WDIFL, “We Did It For Love.” It’s about back in the day when drag racing was a sport where a few guys could get together and afford to race a fuel car. What’s love got to do with it? Everything! It wasn’t about the money or fame. It was for the love of the sport, that’s what love’s got to do with it. The pure unadulterated love to plan, build, tune, maybe drive, and have fun racing with your BFF’s.

When Linda and I and our two kids went to the drag races up and down the west coast ‘70’s–‘80’s, we did it for love…like four fingers in a glove…it was devotion derived from above.

When I began regularly attending the drag boat races in 1980 with close friend Dave Haase traveling around California, “we did it for love” of the sport and each other.

When I began hitting the party scene back in the late ‘60’s, I did it because of the love for our friends. What’s love got to do with it? When you’re passionately in love with someone or something—racing?—it may seem like the right thing to do.

What’s love got to do with it? When a driver stomps on the loud pedal, it’s pure love all through their body, soul and spirit. It’s a dream come true where love meets the need for speed and the thrill of racing while loving the challenge of being better every race.

What’s love got to do with it? My salvation—and the Bible—introduced me to the idea God was highly interested in all the details of my life. A concept that was going to get me through the rest of my life on earth and take me to heaven and eternal life with Jesus Christ!

What’s love got to do with it? The untold number of people we have met [you] in the past thirty five years while being involved with RFC: Hundreds of friends and acquaintances from shore to shore in drag boat racing, and also hundreds of friends and acquaintances in drag racing for the past sixty years.

What’s love got to do with it? The simple knowledge when I came to Christ, I was granted authority to conduct God’s business in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, knowing He is the One who holds our future in His very hands.

What’s love got to do with it? A unique opportunity to hunker down in the seat of a ten thousand horsepower machine and then hold on for dear life as it rockets down the racetrack at speeds that would scare the heck out of most people, all-the-while delighting thousands of fans who pay to see this harrowing action.

What’s love got to do with it? A passion as a chaplain to spend untold hours preparing a sermon God has prompted in his heart to share with all the people in a chapel service. This time of preparation is a time of being locked away with the Spirit helping to put the words down on paper [computer] to be listened to by the people God called to attend the service.

What’s love got to do with it? To choose to think, do, and say the right thing, with the right attitude: Check out this story from The Word For You Todaydevotional by Bob Gass. “Dogs Diary: 8:00 a.m. Ate dog food. My favorite thing. 9:00 a.m. Went for a car ride. My favorite thing. 9:40 a.m. Walked in the park. My favorite thing. 10:30 a.m. Got rubbed and petted. My favorite thing. 12:00 p.m. Ate lunch. My favorite thing. 1:00 p.m. Played in the grass. My favorite thing. 3:00 p.m. Wagged my tail. My favorite thing. 5:00 p.m. Ate a treat. My favorite thing. 7:00 p.m. Played ball. My favorite thing. 8:00 p.m. Watched TV with my people. My favorite thing. 11:00 p.m. slept on the bed. My favorite thing.”

Now a “Cats Diary: Day 983 of my imprisonment. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre dangling objects. The one thing that helps me carry on is my dream of escape. Two critters…similar situations…totally different experiences. What made the difference? One chose the right thoughts and attitude and the other didn’t.”

What’s love got to do with it? A Racer’s Diary: 5:00 am. Drive to the races. My favorite thing. 6:00 am. Arrived at the races. My favorite thing. 6:30 am. Unloaded my boat. My favorite thing. 7:30 am. Warmed up the engine. My favorite thing. 8:30 am. Headed to the ramp. My favorite thing. 9:00 am. Made a quick and fast run. My favorite thing. 9:01 am qualified number one. My favorite thing. 7:30 am. Sunday morning went to the RFC chapel service. My favorite thing. 4:00 pm. Sunday afternoon. Won the race. My favorite thing.

What’s love got to do with it? An intense desire to enjoy every aspect of our God-given life to the fullest: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” (John 10:10). Racing is a dream for thousands of people. Our life is what our thoughts make it. God’s way is for us to do everything unto Him, pleasing yourself while trusting Him.

What’s love got to do with it? The reality that God lovingly called me to be part of His kingdom on earth, and as a foreshadow of His heavenly kingdom He is preparing for me and you, as God calls unlikely people [me] to do unexpected work. A second birth announcement, if you will, as a redeemed person who accepted His offer of eternal life.

What’s love got to do with it? Being blessed to smell the nitro. The opportunity to hear thousands of horses powering a racing machine. To feel the rush of acceleration. To taste the thrill of victory. And to see smiles on the faces of those cheering fans.

What’s love got to do with it? Understanding God has created for us a world of beauty, wonder, and artistry, so we will come out of the darkness and into the light. When the driver of a nitro powered machine steps on the loud pedal at night, an invasion of light from the exhaust pipes illuminates the sky surrounding the engine, revealing the tremendous amount of power in a man-made-engine: Therefore, eventually recognizing God’s ultimate power of sending us a Redeemer who would be that universal Light showing us the Way home.

What’s love got to do with it? To encourage everyone to live a God-fearing life, setting a good example through your speech, your conduct, your love, your faith, and your purity, as you best impact others—even in racing—by living faithfully every day. 

What’s love got to do with it? Answering God’s beckoning with the complete willingness to allow God to work in your life and in your racing program. “Not my will, but your will be done.” When God calls, He equips us. When God provides, it’s evident. When God’s presence is felt, it’s peaceful. When God’s power is displayed, it’s miraculous. Love never fails!

What’s love got to do with it? Charles Francis Adams, a 19th century political diplomat once said, “Went fishing with my son today—a day wasted.” His son Brook said, “Went fishing with my father today—the most wonderful day of my life.” Every racer should be able to say, “Went racing with my family and friends today, the most wonderful day of my life.”

What’s love got to do with it? The only way to tell the difference between wasting and wonderful is to know your ultimate purpose in life: Racing towards God with your family right alongside of you!

What’s love got to do with it? If I didn’t love you, you would not be reading this monthly column I love to write. What’s love got to do with it? If I didn’t love you, I would not be out at the racetrack ministering and loving on everyone I come in contact with!

What’s love got to do with it? To “Remember Christ our Savior, who was born on Christmas day, to save us all from Satan’s power, when we were gone astray,”…remembering as racers you get to go out and play…your hot rod ain’t no Santa’s sleigh…you hope the competition gets out of the way…when you’re in the midst of the fray…not thinking about a mountain chalet…or writing an essay…but wanting your life to portray…at the  raceway…winning on the Lord’s Day…proclaiming God’s love is my favorite thing to display.