Children love playing with toys. Men love playing with toys too: High-powered toys like drag boats, dragsters, and other racing machines or street rods. There’s a pitiful pagan phrase preying on proud people and their personal purposes, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” In reality, this is a dreadful statement. I was at a funeral where the son of the man—a drag racer—who had died said his dad won because he had the most toys. It was a heartrending declaration!
That saying is wrong. The only winner in this type of race is the one who’ve turned over all their “toys” to their Lord and Savior as a sacrifice of praise. Material things are of no value once a person loses their earthly life. A.W. Tozer said, “The more fascinated we become with the toys of this world the more we forget that there’s another world to come.”
Having the most toys won’t win any awards by heaven’s standards. So, what do you do with them all? Give them away. You can’t take them with you. Too many toys can become a pain in the neck…so what the heck…don’t feel like a wreck…don’t write another check…even if it’s a long trek…simply line up on God’s upper deck.
Drag racers act like children many times when things don’t go their way or when their toy breaks. They simply wish they could get a new one from their dad. Dad will make it all better. Dad will fix my problem. Dad will stand up for me. Dad will always be there for me.
The value of getting wisdom at an early age is vitally important to children—physically, emotionally and especially spiritually. Godly wisdom can, and should be passed on to children generation to generation. Some of you got it while young and some of you didn’t. If you didn’t its okay, there’s still time to learn. Proverbs 22:6 states, “Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it.”
Many people may not think the Lord’s training is important, but one day you will be glad you have that information in your heart, not just in your brain. If you’ve read any accounts of US prisoners of war (POW’s), many of them came to solely rely on the Word of God—not their toys back home—they’d been taught at an early age. They never dreamed they’d be imprisoned with nothing but the clothes on their back and no other source of encouragement or hope.
“Be careful to follow all the commands of the LORD your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever,” (1 Chronicles 28:8). You can’t take it with you, but you can pass it along to someone who would appreciate a great gift.
I’ve stood on the banks of lakes and rivers at the drag boat races, and know for a fact those people who are friends and family of the driver are thinking of nothing but safety for the person behind the wheel. They are not departing far from Scripture, as God’s protection is diligently in their hearts and desperately on their lips.
Deuteronomy 6:1-2 says; 1“These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.”
The Bible tells us about early exposure in the life of a young boy named Josiah. “Josiah was eight years old when he became king…He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the ways of his father David,” (2 Kings 22:1-2). Of all the kings in both the north and south in Old Testament Israel, only two were good, Josiah and Hezekiah. No one is ever too young to take God seriously, or, never too old to take Him seriously either.
1 Peter 2:2-3 says, “Like new born babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” You’ve tasted that drag racing is good, you crave it, and you love it! You’ve also tasted many other things in life and some are not good for you.
The psalmist implores in Psalm 34:8 “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” In other words honestly give this spiritual life a try: I know you will like it! At the beginning of the Christian life, our knowledge is partial and incomplete, but as we trust Him daily, we experience how good He is. How good the Christian life tastes.
Children are the same way. Youngsters are ready for the truth. They’re ready to learn and develop moral values when taught properly. It’s said a child five years old can learn three hundred new things every day, while a seasoned adult may learn five new things a day.
While revealing His wisdom on the training of children, God first reveals Himself, and then a command upon which all teaching must stand, as in Deuteronomy six…it’s okay to get your youthful kicks…out on Route 66…where you learn new tricks…hopefully understanding the meaning of smoldering wicks…you may like your dog giving you a few licks…but only the Lord supplies life’s real fix.
The bottom line is to love the Lord with all of your being. Some only love God with the mind—that would be the intellectualist. Some only love God with their emotion—that would be the sentimentalist. Some only love God with the strength of their own will—that’s the unapproachable type. Each of these types is defined as a religious person—trying to reach up to God!
Totally loving God with the strength of the heart and mind, and by trusting God’s purpose makes for a believer that’s truly balanced and of strong character. The Apostle Paul possessed that kind of strong character, and he passed it on to his followers as a father would to his children. Paul called Timothy and Onesimus his spiritual sons. “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:9).
In teaching others, we can’t give what we don’t have. Real teaching hinges on the reality of a teachers true love. If love’s not there, it’s pretty hard to teach it. Remember, God holds father’s and mother’s responsible to teach their children about the ways of the Lord.
That’s why we’re to build on a solid foundation. “Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone,” (Ephesians 2:20). The next step is found in Deuteronomy six, “You shall teach them diligently.”
Most people don’t understand every aspect in drag racing (I don’t), and most of us don’t understand all the mysteries of the universe (I don’t), but we do need to listen to God. Faith is not understanding perfectly, but trusting completely. Childlike faith helps you discover the real purpose of living. Don’t wait till the end of your life to learn it. This life is an introduction to eternity. Evaluate all that happens from an eternal perspective.
Don’t divide your life into segments: Childhood or adulthood. Love God in and through all that you do! Don’t separate church and life. Don’t separate church and racing. Don’t separate church and winning. Don’t separate church and relationships.
It’s vital to communicate with the Lord in all you do. When you sit at home or when you sit at the races. When you walk along the road, or when you walk through the pits. When you peacefully lie down, or when you have troubles. When you rise up, or when you lose.
Teaching prepares us for the real world. Childhood is a series of time trials like in racing, actually preparing us for real life. Time trials provide experience and practice. King David of the Bible had time trials with the giant Goliath, a bear, a lion, an affair with Bathsheba, King Saul, and even with his own family. Early training in his life allowed him to become a man after God’s own heart!
The IHRA Jr. Dragster Nationals in Indiana in 1995 had some unexpected stories. On Sunday it began raining: The races were halted, so in the meantime the children were being children and Richard Thompson crashed his bicycle and fell face first resulting in getting mud under his eyelids and breaking his arm…not serious harm…around him kids did swarm…in the hospital it was cold not warm. Richard’s mother Lorraine Thompson called her mother to let her know they were at the hospital with the RFC chaplain—me. Grandma freaked out…with a shout…Richard’s life she did doubt…as the fear did mount…she thought his last rights were what this was all about!
When the finals were completed later that afternoon, Chris Bond from California won his class as he was dialed…his mother Sharon Bond went wild…she was jumping like a child…her exuberance was not mild…Sharon was truly happy not riled…history shows her actions would be permanently filed…jumping with her legs wrapped around Chaplain Jim Jack she piled!
We don’t have to qualify for heaven. God gives it to us, if we accept it—in child-like faith—and then commit our life to Him…get in shape and stay spiritually trim…don’t just believe a guy named Jim…allow God to shine His light on you and you’ll never dim…don’t worry about peering over a canyon rim…by trusting God you won’t be out on a limb.