Disclaimer - *All views henceforth are solely my own.*
This will be a post about my decisions behind not attending the PNB this year. I have been heard and have written on numerous occasions over the past decade that the PNB is one of my favorite events to attend. I believe that what has always drawn me to this event is the large attendance, the round the clock racing, and the huge tracks laden with wooden big air jumps. I've watched the race evolve over the last 10 plus years attending all but one edition of the race up until this year. One staple of the event is the 'psycho' element which is a natural carryover from the organizers primary business of running haunted houses. Hear me out as I divulge further into this primary point and where I stand with it in my life.
As many know I am a follower of Jesus. Some will simply imply a Christian, but in truth my faith and trust is in a person (Jesus Christ) and not in any type of religious system. Christianity has, and seemingly especially so in this day and age a negative connotation for so many. My focus in this post is going to be on my walk with Christ and where that has me today as I write this piece. In the past I have been the guy who says I don't want anything to do with Christianity because all the people I come into contact with who claim to be Christian seem to live hypocritical to what we all believe we know to be their very public belief system. I've since learned that becoming a Christian or follower of Jesus requires being born again. By being born again you put off your old self and accept Gods mercy and grace and trust in His Son Jesus Christ and that He died on the cross for you to cover your sins that you may stand before God on judgement day and have had your fine paid by Jesus. We can't stand before a Holy and Just God in our sins, and thus Jesus paid that penalty, He paid our fine, that we may be cleansed of our unrighteousness.
Upon accepting Jesus as savior the Holy Spirit comes upon you and indwells you and you become a new person. The things which once were enjoyable (sins) now begin to bother you. You begin to desire the things of God and want to live more righteously. Now here is the kicker...It's a process. I know I never knew or thought of this when I was unsaved and I'm sure many today are the same. But think of being born again as being a baby. You are a baby Christian and while you may be on fire for the Lord and are excited about your new freedom in Christ, you still have a lot of growing up to do. All those who are truly Christians are somewhere in their walk with Christ. Some are babies, some toddlers, others teens and so on. So you aren't immediately endowed with all knowledge and righteousness the moment you are saved. Thus Christians just like everyone else still fail, still sin (though they should have a desire to repent of the sins), and still make mistakes. But a Christian has a very public set of moral standards that everyone is aware of, and so when they don't live up to them, it can cause others to pronounce they are hypocrites. Meanwhile an unsaved person can have any moral standard they want and can even change it at will as it is private to them and them alone.
Well here I am, 5 years now I have been saved. It's been a process. I still struggle. I still have more to learn than a lifetime could ever teach me. But I have the assurance of being saved and being able to spend eternity in heaven with my Creator and Savior. I sin less often but I repent more often because I'm in the part of my walk where I realize that it's not just our outward sins but our thoughts too. I also am becoming more aware of the spiritual battle that is raging all around us. We have a very real enemy in the devil who will deceive, divide, destroy, and anything else he can to keep you lost.
Which leads me to today and what is going on all around us. We of course have been dealing with this virus now for 5 months or so which has changed so much of our lives. I could easily lay my non attendance on that fact alone but it wouldn't be the whole story. I believe we are in the 'last days'. I believe the Bible is playing out in right here and now all around us. Everyone is aware of the verses in Matthew 24 regarding wars and rumors of wars, pestilences, earthquakes, and the like. And yes, all of that has happened in the past too. What many overlook is that they are likened to birth pains. If you've had children or been around a pregnant woman who is soon to give birth you realize this illustration points to greater frequency and greater intensity of these things as we near those last days.
All around us we are seeing division and anger and people are being caught up in so many small battles over anything and everything. However to me the most important battle is a spiritual battle for souls. Nothing is more important than our great commission to love God and love others. To save lost souls and show people the light and share the Gospel. I was still contemplating attending this years PNB a couple of weeks ago but I was asked some pointed questions. Would I personally take my children to this event? For me the answer is no. Do I feel as a Christian, that attending and 'promoting' this event after the weekend was over would be consistent with the message I am trying to share in my life and the walk that I am on? Again, I had to say no. A common theme I see from non believers is that those who do claim to be believers are simply to wishy washy and don't live the message they preach. Well I have reached the point in my walk with Christ where I feel led to distance myself further and take a greater stand against all manner of evil.
While I love the track and love the people, I can no longer in good conscious be a part of the demonic theme of the event. I fully realize this is crazy talk to most. Many probably think as I used to that it's just a theme, it's just for fun, it's harmless, ext ext. To take it further things like, it's just a movie, it's just a TV show, it's just a prank. Eventually you realize you're the frog in the pot being boiled and it's your soul that is at stake. For me it boils down to this; I am choosing God. I am choosing His Son Jesus Christ. I am choosing to be in the light and do my best to be the light and share the light. I wish to love others and build up others and I pain for the lost and those who are spiritually blinded. There is a very real battle out there for souls and I just pray to see more come to Jesus and be forgiven and saved and be truly freed from sin.
Allow me to end with this quote from G.K. Chesterton:
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”
Which leads me to think of people like George Muller. Because i'm finding as I continue my walk with Christ that the quote is so true. True Biblical Christianity, truly dying to self and surrendering to the Lord can be difficult. I'm still struggling with it. But i'm continuing to read stories of those like George Muller who have done it and in every one of them they wouldn't trade it for anything.
In summation we do have a hope. There is absolute truth to be found. His name is Jesus Christ. I am a child of God, and I choose to honor Him above all else.
Love you all and hope to see you at a race soon. Please don't hesitate to message me.