Ever wonder about the hidden life of the small track speedway? I never did. Now I do. Sort of....
In fact, now I think about it in less than charitable ways. I know as a missionary to this culture, I have to find common ground and a way to engage in what God is already doing. God is present. But this will be a theological and anthropological adventure.
I have not yet been fully introduced to this alien culture. Growing up in the suburbs of Phoenix, our racing experiences were through the Wide World of Sports (that shows my age!). Never in all that time, did I ever see what happened once the crowd had gone home.
Last Sunday night, our local speedway had its delightful, "Trailer Trash Races." However, our job was not to enjoy the race, but to clean up afterward. My son's baseball team was cleaning up the trash each Sunday morning after the Saturday night races as a way to raise money for next year's baseball tournament season. Being environmentally responsible, we'd separate the plastic from the trash for recycling. But both plastic and trash told a story.
Plastics: why don't people finish what they purchase? So many soda and water bottles were still nearly full. Furthermore, the 85 oz "beer buckets" were usually empty. But some were not as empty as one would wish. The spray and drips of old beer kinda made one long for a shower.
Trash: The real joy was in the weekly competition of counting disposable diapers in the bleachers. The first week was three. The second week was four. But the last two weeks were only two and one respectively. With all the noise of the roaring engines, why would there be babies there?
Anyway, looking at the detritus, the debris, and the unfinished treasures of the speedway filled me with a strange desire to keep learning about this alien culture residing within in my own community. As anthropologists dig through the dumps of ancient civilizations past, they find insights to the culture under study. Going through ancient Mayan trash, or the garbage of ancient Jerusalem might be better - at least their beer buckets would have lost their stench over the eons.
But the missiological pursuit will continue - but this time, I'll do it from the top side of the bleachers. And I will finish my soda and throw it in the recycling bin.