Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Memory Lane and the Question

Have you ever looked over your life and wanted to go back to a certain time and place that stood out in your mind? I seem to be doing that rather often lately. I remember a time in my life when everything was good. I couldn't have asked for more. So, in the next few posts I think I will pull a few memorable experiences out of file 13 and share them with you.

I remember as a kid, going to the ZITF to watch the "mini-monaco" - gokart racing around the fairgrounds. At that point in my life I didn't understand the relevance of the name of that particular race weekend. In 1993 the world of Formula One motor racing grabbed my interest, and one such event was (and still is) hosted in the principle of Monaco, and features a road race through the winding curves of the city. I make no secret about my passionate support of Ferrari, along with their historical champion driver, Michael Schumacher. Little did I know that years later I would own a red stock gokart, that would draw the attention of kids on race weekends, they would admire the familiar paint work and always gather around my kart. Was I any good at racing? No. In my short stint as a kart racer, I think I came in third only once. Every other race was dismal. Once my drive chain shattered at the bottom of a straight, ending my race weekend. Another occassion, racing Wayne Williams through the s-bends accelerated my nerves, only to see me trying to outbreak my buddy at the end of the straight, tramping on the break peddle with such force that the cable snapped, sending me through the bails of hay, flying over a ditch and eventually coming to a stop in a cloud of dry african dust at the newly resurfaced kart track on the outskirts of Bulawayo. Mini-Monaco was my first official race. I always seem to learn the hard way. Race weekend was upon us, the family had come out to watch me hurtle around the track in the hope of winning. Yeah right! The third and final heat of the day was interesting. My family was seated just down from the pit area, at the corner entry, and I would make note of them cheering me on with each passing lap. Ahead of me (of course) a few racers were jostling for position, and one of them spun out after clipping a hay bail. I grinned and pumped the air because with him out that gave me an extra point position. One lap to go, and my first race weekend would be under my belt. Little did I know what was about to happen. I came screaming down the road, and flicked my kart into the very same corner that faced my family, and the scene of the previous lap's retirement, my wheels hit the hay that had been knocked onto the track, sending me into an uncontrolable slide...BOOM...right in front of he family, my kart slammed into the curb, ejecting me out of the seat. I knew there were karts rapidly nearing the same corner, so I jumped up, pulled my kart off to the side of the track, and sat there waiting for the race to finish. As I sat there, and took my helmet off, I started feeling pain in my right side. I didn't pay much attention to it, but it grew worse. I don't know what hurt more, my side, or the fact that I spun out right in front of my family! What I did know is that something wasn't right in my side, and so Monday moring I was off to the doctor - you guessed it - one broken rib thank you very much!

I look back on moments like that and want to go back to that weekend. The fun, the excitement, the rush of being a kid all over again, and having the full support of my family, those are the moments in life that are hard to exchange for almost anything. But there were many more such moments that I cherrish and hold locked in my memory archive, revisiting them in moments of hardship always bring a smile to my heart and face.

It is weird sometimes what the mind can do in terms of its' ability to pull out memories that you thought no longer existed. At the moment, I seem to be remembering some eventful episodes that always go back to Africa. What is this connection with Africa? Sure I was born there. Lived my entire life there. Experienced everything there. But what is the draw to remember all these events afresh? I don't know the answer to that. I gladly share some of my memories, because they are fun, and also because it gives you a sneak peak into my life. Who I am, what I am about, and where the Lord is leading me at this point in my life. I have to include Jesus Christ. He has saved me, not only as a point of reference to my eternal life promise according to His word, but in many instances as I have navigated life, Christ has been there sometimes way ahead of me to bail me out of the foolishness that was bound up inside of me, and sometimes just to lead me through tough stuff. I have often wondered why me? Why would He choose me? But then I realize He has a plan, and wants to reveal it to me if I will listen and obey. Do I really want to listen and obey is the $64 question...?

1 comment:

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