Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Ramp

The other night I was reading a story to my 5 year-old son, Cade, before bed. Occasionally, after I read a story, he wants me to then tell him a story. Sometimes he wants me to make one up, and other times he wants me to tell him some tale from my childhood. On this particular night he wanted a story about me.

If you ask him about it, he could tell you almost word for word the tale I am about to share with you. I know this because he repeats it to me almost daily. He thought it was so funny and such a lesson learned that he chooses to remind me of it regularly.

Anyone who grew up in the 70’s knows the name Evel Knievel. For those of you who are too young, or were living under a rock during the late 60’s and early 70’s, Evel Knievel was a motorcycle daredevil. He used to jump cars, buses, and canyons. He is perhaps the most famous daredevil who ever lived. If it was out there, he would try to jump it on his Harley Davidson XR 750. (Incidentally, some of you out there reading this have tried as of late to imitate Knievel without much success. You know who you are…Repeat after me “I am not Evel Knievel”)

I decided sometime around 1975 when I was about eight, that I would perform my own stunt in my backyard. I had this really cool purple bike, and I genuinely thought I was invincible on that bike. I invited all of my friends over that afternoon to watch me jump my bike. I really do not remember what I was jumping over, but I’m sure it was dangerous.

The original plan for my ramp was a piece of plywood supported by two concrete blocks. I had the plywood, but could only find one concrete block. To this day I do not know why I chose to replace a concrete block with a football, but I did.

When my friends showed up I took my bike to the top of the hill for maximum speed, and began pedaling down the hill. I raced for the ramp with no fear. I was going to jump that purple bike further than anyone could imagine.

I my front tire hit the ramp and I knew at that moment that something was very wrong. The football, as you might expect, shot out from under the ramp, my bike stopped immediately and I flipped over the handlebars. I skinned my knees, my shins, hurt my arm and neck. That was my last career jump.

Sometimes we as Christians do similar things. We try to build our own lives out of the materials that we have on hand. We think we can handle things on our own and that we do not need God. A football has no place underneath a ramp, but it was all I had. I refused to ask for any help until I got hurt.

Some of the things we build our lives on have about as much place there as a football under a ramp, but it’s all we have. The good news is whatever we have, can be made perfect if we give it to God.

Five loaves and two fish were not enough to feed a crowd of 5000 men, much less the women and children who were also present that day. A small smooth stone was not enough to kill a 9 foot tall giant. A song was not enough to cause chains to fall off and prison doors to open. But, when these things were placed in the hands of Almighty God, the impossible becomes not only the possible, but the definite.

What are you trying to build your life on? Have you been using what you know or think you know to get by? Try giving what you have to God and just watch Him help you jump further, higher and faster than you ever dreamed you could. With God, all things are possible.

Where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn't God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation. (1 Corinthians 1:20-21 The Message)

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