Many Are Called Few Are Chosen

I did not know till today that I may have a desire to race in the Baja 1000. This 4 day, 800 mile off road race across the desert in Baja, Mexico, is considered the world’s most difficult and dangerous off road race. Yet it draws teams from around the world.

“Baja California, Mexico, is a legendary peninsula that has some of the most beautiful coastline, mountains, valleys, and vistas of anyplace on Earth. It is also a playground for some of the most wealthy and adventurous people in the world who love to test their physical endurance and technical ability in the Baja 1000.”

Ruth and I are taking a week of vacation exploring the Baja peninsula with friends, Jeremy and Robin Pickens and son Elijah age 5. The Pickens who are living with us temporarily are now hosting us in their home on the peninsula.

This morning at our hotel In the desert I unexpectedly learned about the Baja 1000 from a fellow guest who will race the grey vehicle in the background of this picture. He will be racing the night section of the 800 mile race.

He and his partner will race at 80 to 100 miles an hour or more through the desert night. There are 45 people on his team who will man the pit stops and other associated tasks to assist the racers. This gentleman came down from California four days ago. He has driven his 200 mile section of the course every day of the past four days in preparation for his big race tonight. Now he is ready.

He expects to do his section in 3 1/2 hours. ( The winning team will likely complete the entire race in around 25 hours.) His vehicle will be connected with a satellite and a team of people communicating with him and his navigator driving partner as they drive furiously through the night with 300 fellow contestants, everyone determined to finish first.

The truck in the foreground is the one he used for the four-day pre-run. The gray truck in the background is the one he will use for the race. This state of the art racing vehicle ( likely costing 100s of thousands of dollars) gets two miles per gallon from its 900 horsepower engine. It has amazing shock absorbers to take the off-road beating it will receive tonight.

But in spite of all I have said above I am still pondering my own unexpected fascination with the Baja 1000.

Yes, I guess it has something to do with the spiritual parallels to the Christian race in which we are engaged:

Many are called but few are chosen. Many are interested but few are willing to pay the price to enter and complete the race.

Those who win must prepare themselves.

No one wins alone; it is a team effort.

Running the race requires staying in continual satellite contact with those who can see the big picture as well as the road ahead.

Running the race requires expecting the unexpected. The race course is not fenced in. It goes through the living space of man and animals which can provide intentional and unintentional hazards.

Winning requires continually analyzing and dealing with your weaknesses.

Winning requires never giving up. If we fail this year we will win next year.

Running the race becomes a lifestyle. All of life becomes centered around the race.

No, in case you were wondering, I do not plan to enter the Baja 1000. For I am consumed by a greater race.

“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!

All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.

So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.

Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭9:24-27‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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