Monday, July 24, 2006

What I Learned at the Demolition Derby

Shrieking, twisting metal. Burning rubber. Sweating mobs of people. Flying mud. Obnoxiously loud exhaust systems. These were just a few of the real experiences I had last Thursday night at my first Demolition Derby (Platte County Fair - Platte City, MO).

I never realized how fun it would be watching cars smash into each other in a mud pit. I was amazed at how much fun those around me were having. It might have been because half of them were drunk. But I have to admit, it was fun. It's the reason everyone likes to see a big wreck in a race. Of course you hope everyone is OK after the crash, but boy is it fun to see how much damage there is. The only difference between a big NASCAR wreck and a Demolition Derby hit is several million dollars.

You can learn a lot from a Demolition Derby. Here's what I learned...

1. Many times God will use the most unlikely person after they have been told by others that they aren't road-worthy to do something incredible. Cars end up having a life-span, just like people do. After cars are in a wreck, sometimes they are deemed "totaled." They are discarded by the owner, and sometimes end up in a Demo Derby. But God can use something that's been discarded or disqualified (Moses, David, etc.). If you think about it, at the Demo Derby...these cars are being cheered by thousands of people. Just because a car isn't road-worthy, it doesn't mean that it can't be used to touch the lives of more people than it would if it was road-worthy.

2. After being totaled and discarded, we are still expected to follow the rules God has for us. It doesn't mean we can do whatever we want because we've already been 'washed up.' Just because these cars can't drive on the road where other cars do, they still need to abide by very specific rules and regulations. For example, you can't remove the interior of the car (to prevent fire), move the gas tank to the back, move the battery to the front, chain your bumpers to the frame so they don't fall off, and a lot more. These rules are different than cars on the road, but none the less - they would be disqualified from the derby if not followed.

3. God doesn't like sandbaggers and neither do others in the game. "Sandbagging" means driving around without getting hit - in other words, not getting in the game. You see, you could end up driving around the derby and win the silly thing by avoiding being hit. What's the fun in that? There is no fun, but you would end up with $500. In the derby, the officials want you in the game. The crowd, who each paid $7 to see you in the game, would have every right to call you a wimp if you were found sandbagging. God can't use someone who simply avoids following Him.

4. Frequent inspections help us please God and be more effective. Cars in the derby are inspected before, during, and after the event. We can't take a vacation from following Christ...ever. If the drivers knew their cars wouldn't be inspected, you'd have all kinds of "helps" installed on the vehicles. In fact, while we were of the cars was inspected and found to be an older car than what was allowed. They were asked to remove their car from the derby. Begrudgingly, the driver floored the gas and left in a tizzy.

God, help me to remember that you might use me - even though I may not be someone special in my own eyes. Help me to follow Your rules, even when I get disqualified. Push me to get into the game and follow You actively, not be a deadbeat. God show me things in my life that need to be changed before I enter the mud pit to please You. When I leave the mud pit, show me again and help me not to become prideful of the job I did in the pit.

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