It sounds like a story straight out of an action-hero movie. But it’s not. It’s a real life story that involves a father and his son … and it happened Father’s Day weekend, two weeks ago, Saturday night, June 16.
According to USA TODAY, “After Mike Jones’ No. 39 car collided with another car at a NASCAR-sanctioned race at South Boston Speedway outside South Boston, Virginia, his father and crew chief, Dean Jones, was the first person on the scene. As the car burst into flames, the elder Jones helped his son climb out of the car to safety.
“I just had a single focus: Getting my son out of that burning car,” Dean Jones told NBC News on Thursday. “Nothing else mattered.”1
The video of what happened has gone viral and attracted attention from all over the world. It also brought a strong rebuke from the South Boston Speedway, because the father violated track rules.
In a statement provided to ESPN, track officials said, “We have sat down with Mr. Jones and discussed what transpired on Saturday, and he fully understands our position on non-safety personnel entering the track.” 2
Mr. Jones wasn’t fined or suspended, but has been placed on probation through the end of 2018. For rescuing his son from a race car engulfed in flames. When asked if he had any regrets? Dean Jones said, “Not a one. I would do it again!” Wouldn’t you? I think every father, grandfather, mother and grandmother in the world, without reservation, would say, “I’d do the same thing.” Why? One word: LOVE.
When asked if he had any regrets? Dean Jones said, “Not a one. I would do it again!”
That same response should characterize every follower of Christ. Being willing to do whatever it takes to rescue people headed to an eternity without Christ because the Bible says, “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).
Unlike what happened at the South Boston Speedway on Father’s Day weekend, God wants us on track, trying to rescue every loved one, friend and complete stranger we can from the unquenchable flames of hell.
Dean Jones wasn’t concerned about what others thought or even for his own safety when he went to rescue his son. Instinct kicked in and love compelled him to go, no matter what. His son, Mike, said, “I remember catching in an all star tournament when I was 12 and I got knocked out from a play at the plate. My dad Dean Jones hopped the centerfield fence and ran to home plate to make sure I was ok. 16 years later nothing has changed.”3
May that be said of us, as Christians, that our instinct is always to “GO” (Matthew 28:18-20), compelled by our love for Christ and the lost; and that no matter how many times we’ve gone, or how many years pass by, nothing changes.
We’ll do it again … and again!
© 2018. Barry L. Cameron
1 Schad, Tom. “Father Runs on Track to Save Son from Burning Car after Crash in NASCAR-Sanctioned Race.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 22 June 2018, www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nascar/2018/06/22/father-saves-son-after-crash-nascar-sanctioned-race/724703002/
2 Pockrass, Bob. “Father Disciplined for Going on Track to Help Son.” ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, 21 June 2018 www.espn.com/racing/nascar/story/_/id/23862572/father-faces-discipline-pulling-son-burning-car
3 Racing News. “Father Rescues Son from Burning Race Car at South Boston Speedway (VIDEO).” Racing News, 20 June 2018, racingnews.co/2018/06/20/father-recuses-son-from-burning-race-car-at-south-boston-speedway/
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.