Our Unfair Advantage

August 26, 1999

Our Unfair Advantage

This week I received an inspirational story that reminded me of something I
experienced three years ago. The first story is what I received, and the next story
is my experience (excerpted from the Monday Message entitled "Unfair
Advantage"). I hope both stories will teach you as they taught me about
child like faith.

I.  My son Gilbert was eight years
old and had been in Cub Scouts only a short time.   During one of his
meetings he was handed a sheet of paper, a block of wood and four tires and
told to return home and give all to "dad." That was not an easy task
for Gilbert to do. Dad was not receptive to doing things with his son. But
Gilbert tried. Dad read the paper and scoffed at the idea of making a pine wood
derby car with his young, eager son.

The block of wood remained untouched as the weeks passed. Finally, mom
stepped in to see if I could figure this all out. The project began. Having no
carpentry skills, I decided it would be best if I simply read the directions
and let Gilbert do the work. And he did. I read aloud the measurements, the
rules of what we could do and what we couldn’t do.

Within days his block of wood was turning into a pinewood derby car. A
little lopsided, but looking great (at least through the eyes of mom). Gilbert
had not seen any of the other kids’ cars and was feeling pretty proud of his
"Blue Lightning," the pride that comes with knowing you did something
on your own.

Then the big night came. With his blue pinewood derby in his hand and pride
in his heart we headed to the big race. Once there my little one’s pride turned
to humility. Gilbert’s car was obviously the only car made entirely on his own.
All the other cars were a father-son partnership, with cool paint jobs and
sleek body styles made for speed.

A few of the boys giggled as they looked at Gilbert’s, lopsided, wobbly,
unattractive vehicle. To add to the humility Gilbert was the only boy without a
man at his side. A couple of the boys who were from single parent homes at
least had an uncle or grandfather by their side; Gilbert had "mom."

As the race began it was done in elimination fashion. You kept racing as
long as you were the winner. One by one the cars raced down the finely sanded
ramp. Finally it was between Gilbert and the sleekest, fastest looking car

As the last race was about to begin, my wide eyed, shy eight year old ask if
they could stop the race for a minute, because he wanted to pray. The race
stopped. Gilbert hit his knees clutching his funny looking block of wood
between his hands. With a wrinkled brow he set to converse with his Father.

He prayed in earnest for a very long minute and a half. Then he stood, smile
on his face and announced, "Okay, I am ready." As the crowd cheered,
a boy named Tommy stood with his father as their car sped down the ramp.

Gilbert stood with his Father within his heart and watched his block of wood
wobble down the ramp with surprisingly great speed and rushed over the finish
line a fraction of a second before Tommy’s car. Gilbert leaped into the air
with a loud "Thank you" as the crowd roared in approval.

The Scout Master came up to Gilbert with microphone in hand and asked the
obvious question, "So you prayed to win, huh, Gilbert?" To which my
young son answered, "Oh, no sir. That wouldn’t be fair to ask God to help
you beat someone else. I just asked Him to make it so I don’t cry when I
lose." Children seem to have a wisdom far beyond us. Gilbert didn’t ask
God to win the race, he didn’t ask God to fix the out come, Gilbert asked God
to give him strength in the outcome.

When Gilbert first saw the other cars he didn’t cry out to God, "No
fair, they had a father’s help." No, he went to his Father for
strength.  Perhaps we spend too much of our prayer time asking God to rig
the race, to make us number one, or too much time asking God to remove us from
the struggle, when we should be seeking God’s strength to get through the

II. Key Verse: 1 John 5:12 – He who has the Son has life; he who does not
have the Son of God does not have life.

Study Text: 1 John 5:1 – 12

There is a board game that’s been out for several years called
"Trouble." To move the pieces each player presses a plastic bubble
with a numbered die inside. The hardest part of the game is to get the game
pieces on the playing board and out of the home position. To do so each player
has to press the bubble and get a 6. Now to make the game even tougher, game
pieces can get sent back to home if they are landed on by other players’

Well one day, Veronica and I were playing with a friend’s daughter,
Michelle, and I had almost gotten my last piece back around the board to my
home position to win the game. I also had sent Michelle’s piece back to its
home position. Well as I brought my last piece around the board I landed on
Michelle’s "starting spot" so she needed a 6 to stop me from winning
the game. As her turn came she said with sincerity, "Lord, please let me
get a 6." (She was serious.) She pressed the bubble and up came a 6! I
then replied, "Hey! I didn’t know we were using our help?!"……

Here was a child seven years old who knows where her help comes from and
called for help swiftly – AND GOT IT! The problem is us "Grown
Folks"(Bad English – I Know) is we are so "Big for Our Britches"
we won’t even get that FREE Help that’s The Best of The Best For Us. Oh, I
forgot to tell you, Michelle went on to win the game. She knew she didn’t want
to come in second; she knew that she served a 1ST Class God Who Delivers – ON
TIME! She didn’t want to Lose. Remember, I lost the game because I didn’t call
on Him.

What Gilbert and Michelle had in common is that they both called on God and
they both won!

Time is Winding Down…..
With every word you read time is winding down…..
With every good and bad deed time is winding down…..
With every step you take time is winding down…..
With every move you make time is winding down…..
YOU HAVEN’T CALLED HIM YET!!!!!!????? You Better!!!!!!