Dead Sea Scrolls
Published July 6, 2013

There is a reasonable amount of recorded history in drag boat racing. Without a doubt more than fifty years worth of racing, reflection, recreation, records, ripples, rollers, rudders, recovery, resuscitation, and runabouts replay racing’s restless rebels and recruits.
When I think back over the years of my involvement with drag boat racing, it’s been an incredible journey of watching the best…put their racing machines to the test…while having to wear a life vest… often leaving their nest…searching for a life-long quest…while participating out west… perhaps feeling like a guest…some carrying the persona of a pest… continually riding on top of the crest…with unmistakable valor and unmatched zest.
Many of drag boat racing’s veterans are still hanging around trying to catch up on old times, while imagining themselves in a modern day monster of a mechanical machine. Racing is really a young person’s sport, but there’s always room for yester-years hero’s to bench race and lend some wise and wonderful wisdom to the sports current contenders.
Drag boat racing is not a dead sport. It is alive and well deep in the hearts of many amazing people who simply love to go fast on the water. At times it may be a death-defying sport, but there’s nothing better than two boats side-by-side at 250 mph!
There is also a lot of history when you broach a subject like the Dead Sea Scrolls that were found in Israel in 1948—at a time before sanctioned drag boat racing was born. If you’ve been to Israel, you may have visited Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered—in clay jars—in a cave near the Dead Sea. These parchment paper-like books of the Bible date back thousands of years, and help authenticate the sacred Scriptures as the inspired Word of God.
Racing scholars have chronicled drag boat racing from its primitive beginnings up to today’s state-of-the-art boats that are sleeker, stronger, and safer than their earlier counterparts, capable of speeds that boggle the mind of the sports pioneers.
Writers have the task of placing information into the minds of the readers so they can enjoy and learn what they read. Readers need to visualize how it was in the past, compare it to how it is today, and try to apply what we have learned for tomorrow.
My brain is wired with information about drag racing, that’s why I’m so passionate to write about it, hoping to enlighten readers to facts about drag boat racing, while also writing about the spiritual side of life—which we’ll all face one day whether we like it or not.
Simply studying the Scriptures won’t make you a giant in the faith, just like knowing the history of drag racing won’t make you a world champion. Study without service, or without putting your knowledge into action, may only produce people with hypercritical attitudes.
If racing, or Christianity, was mere philosophy, then our prime activity might only be studying. But since racing is about actually competing, the last thing we need is more books on how to become a successful racer. Reading may tell you what to do, but you must get your hands dirty, your feet wet, and dig deep down into the daily demands of racing to become a successful racer.
Show me an honest-to-goodness racer with sparkling clean hands and finger nails, and you’ll probably see someone who rarely gets to the finish line first. Dirty hands don’t guarantee being a champion, but silky smooth hands may be a sign of someone who’s afraid of some hard work—and hard work is what it takes to be a champion in any field.
Life experiences are what really groom us to not be deceived by [only] thinking we can do anything we learn. I love learning about our solar system (the vastness is mind boggling), but becoming an astronaut and going into space is improbable for the average person.
Back to the Dead Sea: The probable reason nothing lives in the Dead Sea is because it takes water in but doesn’t give any out. Likewise if you have boating information input, but no outflow of actually racing—you’re not a racer. And the same is true with Christianity, if you have biblical input but no outflow of service—you may stagnate spiritually.
Unfortunately, churches can do a disservice to their people by keeping them too busy with [only] going to church. Without demonstrating and training practical ways to apply what they learned, more than likely, these pew-potatoes will mentally file away what they learned, but forget it before it can be externalized and put into practice, thinking they’re growing because their notebooks are getting fatter, just like their rumps from basically [only] sitting on a pew for years. In other words, we must do something for God!
Since we’re referring to the Dead Sea Scrolls, have you been to the Holy Land? In Israel there is a wonderful lake called the Sea of Galilee. This pear shaped lake fed by the Jordan River is six miles wide by fifteen miles long, with a maximum depth of 150 feet. Of special note, this lake is the lowest fresh water lake in the world. It sits 650 feet below sea level, which translates into the best air for drag boat racing on earth, if of course you were to race there.
The surrounding areas of this historical lake are beautiful rolling hills (unlike the Dead Sea’s arid desolate desert surroundings), with many steep hills skirting the shoreline. The Arbel cliffs above Magdala offer a panoramic view of the northern region of Israel. Lovely lush fertile valleys, thanks to streams by Bethsaida, Gennesaret, and Sennabris, made this an ideal place for the Israelites to cultivate the land, build villages on the hills and mountains, and do lots of fishing in this picturesque lake.
The Bible describes many familiar New Testament events during Christ’s life that took place in and around this place called Galilee. Peter, Andrew, James and John, were called by Jesus to become His disciples. Jesus calmed a violent storm while in a fishing boat with His disciples—rebuking the wind. One night the disciples witnessed Jesus walking on the water in the middle of this lake as they were trying to row their boat across it.
On one of the hills near the lake, more than five thousand people were fed with just a few loaves and a few fish. Jesus taught, performed miracles, and set out on a preaching mission from the local city of Capernaum. With this magnificent backdrop, the many miracles performed by the Master more than make this majestic place come alive.
Even though the economy has diminished the number of racers and the number of attending fans, racing will always be a part of the throngs of people who love the combination of boats and water. Remember, as long as there is water on this planet, people will be racing something on it.
As far as the human race goes, our own personal history is a very important part of who we are and where we came from, whether it’s our racing endeavors or our family tree. Biblical history is also important to all of us, as we are all spiritual people—whether we like it or not—and our spiritual roots describe what our forefathers believed in
If you are reading this column, you are very much alive, and you know this magazine is not a Dead Sea Scroll comparison. Please listen to what you hear from God’s Word…it will never become absurd…loving it will not make you a nerd…it will make you feel like a free bird…life isn’t an accident that simply occurred…and by all means the Word must be heard.
Therefore it’s important for you to learn the high calling of being good living examples [even] while racing. Think about it? You get to race on nice tracks with picturesque surroundings with faithful followers watching. The fans are not looking for rewards or miracles like those who followed Jesus. They simply come out to watch you as racers compete in something they only dream about. People observe everything you do and say, so your attitude and behavior—right or wrong—can unknowingly affect many.
Take time to contemplate the privilege of your racing, what it means to others around you, and what your legacy may eventually mean down the road?
Even though we have the Dead Sea Scrolls to look at, knowing they are a huge part of biblical history, but as humans, “We cannot return to our dead, unforgiven state!” We must surge on as we look to the future with our Creator as He’s truly alive…so don’t endorse a spiritual nose dive…let’s all willingly strive…to spiritually revive…while joyfully doing the heavenly jive.

Jim Jack