This was going to the final chapter. The end of an epic battle that captured everyone’s attention! What we don’t know, is how this blockbuster ends! So said the commentator! 21 races were done and dusted the season. Two Formula 1 car racers were tied as they headed to Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi for what would be the 2021 season’s last race. It was like a penalty shoot out kind of race. It was like a super over kind of race! It was, as they called it, the winner-takes-it-all 58-laps of rocking racing. For the 36-year-old Briton Lewis Hamilton, winning in Abu Dhabi on December 12, 2021, would have made him the most decorated Formula 1 World Championship winner over-taking Michael Schumacher’s seven-title record! For the Dutchman Max Verstappen, 12 years younger than Hamilton, a win in Abu Dhabi would make him Formula 1 World Champion for the very first time! There were five laps to go for what was dubbed as the inter-generational race to finish! Hamilton had a clear lead of 11 seconds – an eternity in Formula 1 terms as New York Times’s Tariq Panja put it – over the second place Verstappen at this juncture! Verstappen’s dream of winning his first Formula 1 championship was now going a toss! Red Bull team boss Christian Horner quipped: “We need a miracle.” That’s when a miracle happened! Nicholas Latifi had an accident with just five laps of the 58-lap race to go! His Williams car smashed into wall changing completely the context of the race. The safety cars soon arrived. This neutralized the lead Hamilton had over Verstappen more or less. The five lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen were asked to unlap themselves. But he did not allow the rest of the field to do the same. Meanwhile Verstappen grabbed the chance to have his car tyres changed as the post-accident mess was being cleared but ‘Hamilton did not stop for new tyres because that would have meant he returned to the track in second place’ – so writes Mikael McKenzie. Now there was going to be an one lap shootout between on-fresh-wheels Verstappen and on-race-worn-out-wheels Hamilton. It was going to be a 16-turn, 5.2km race all the way to the chequered flag! As soon as this final shoot out lap race started Verstappen took the title-winning overtake of Hamilton in turn five. He had to fight a cramp on the throttle controlling right foot in this nerve-wracking final lap. At the one point in the final lap, at turn 9, Lewis Hamilton rapidly slicing the distance between him and Max Verstappen and almost made contact seeking furiously to overtake him. But Verstappen held onto the lead and his nerves more importantly somehow and drove home as the winner with Hamilton only behind by 2.256 seconds triggering chaotic celebrations in the Red Bull garage as Claire Cottingham express.co.uk reported! Mercedes, Hamilton’s team were not happy!
Latifi’s accident gave Verstappen a miracle chance of a title win which he grabbed with both hands! But it was not a case of an accident that gives us a miracle chance of salvation. Jesus’ death on the Cross, the place our salvation rests, was no accident. It was planned from eternity past. Jesus, the Bible declares, is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). Just as this accident gave Verstappen an opportunity for fitting new tyres onto his Red Bull car, Jesus’ eternity-planned no-accident death on the cross provides us an opportunity to become a “new creature” (2 Cor. 5:17). Verstappen did not wait till the end of the final lap to overtake Hamilton in the final lap – he did it turn five in the 16-turn lap! And we must not procrastinate racing past the adrenaline-rush causing sins, namely porn, sexual passions outside marriage, blurted out foul words in moments of anger, etc., for the Bible says, ‘now is the time of salvation’ and those who refuse to repent store up wrath against themselves for the day of God’s wrath when His righteous judgement will be revealed (2 Cor. 6:2; Rom. 2:5). Then one day when Jesus returns all of heavens will wave chequered flags as we cross over from earth into eternity – either because of our death or because of the any-second Second Coming of Jesus (Heb. 9:27-28). Yes, this Heart-stopping Formula one competition can trigger the priority number one decision in our lives! We can call turning from sin and coming to Jesus as the priority number one decision for what will it profit us eventually, if we shall gain the whole wide world but yet forfeit our soul to eternal damnation (Mark 8:36)!
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