My daughter shed no tears and maintained her happy heart the other night as her Awana Club car continued to race well, but not well enough to win a trophy at the derby.
She came up to me at one point and said, “I don’t think I’m going to win anything tonight, it’s a good car, but it’s not fast enough. That’s okay, though, because I had a great time making it with Dad and I don’t care if it wins a trophy or not.” She smiled at me and then skipped over to see a cluster of her girlfriends.
Each year, hours of discussion about design, paint colors, and wood shavings cover my kitchen table as the car takes shape. Given that her brothers were Cub Scouts and participated in the annual Pinewood Derby races, her dad has a ton of experience in making cars. In literally every single other derby for the last 6 years, she has returned home with a trophy for taking 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place for racing.
This was the first year she did not.
She asked me the next morning if I had a good time at the race.
“I love the derby!” I said. “I love watching you all cheer each other on. There was a parent last night who asked me if this was one of those kids’ events where everyone goes home with a trophy – I told him it wasn’t, that we spoke Truth and the top 3 cars received prizes.”
Then His Spirit reminded me how she had handled herself the night before.
“I was pleased with how you acted last night. You didn’t seem upset at all that your car wasn’t going to win. Why is that? What were you thinking about?” I wondered to her, knowing that something really healthy was happening and wanted to create awareness.
“I just thought about how much fun I had making the car with Dad. And I did my best. There were like 80 cars entered – that’s a lot. Not everyone can go home with a trophy,” she said.
“So you focused on thinking about whatever was good, noble, pure, right, lovely, admirable, praiseworthy, and excellent? Sounds like Philippians 4:8 to me…” I smiled.
“Yeah, I did!” she smiled back.
I told her the story about the farmer who has a horse randomly show up on his property. His friends all tell him what a good thing that is. He says, “Might be a good thing, might be a bad thing. I don’t know.” Then his horse disappears for a few days, and his friends tell him how sorry they are for his bad luck. He again says, “Might be a good thing, might be a bad thing. I don’t know.” Then the horse returns with 3 other horses and his friends marvel at his good fortune – guess what he says? “Might be a good thing, might be a bad thing, I don’t know.” One day, his 3 year old is playing outside and wanders too close to the horses. Something spooks them, and they accidentally kick and trample the child and he dies. His friends console him, but he says, “This feels like a bad thing, and it might be for me, but it is a good thing for my son, as he is with Jesus.” And God knows that this tough thing will draw the farmer closer to Him, which is a good thing, and what this life is about.
For the record, my daughter ended up with a design award that night, which completely surprised her. Her comment the next day? “I’m still surprised that I got an award for design! God must have liked my attitude about not winning the race!” I am sure He did smile about her attitude, and I wondered that myself when they called her name for design. Her dad’s comment when she asked him? “You worked really hard on that, too – we tried to make a fast car, Liz, but you did put a lot of thought into the design and did a lot of the work yourself and helped me with all the stuff you couldn’t do.” (she’s not allowed to use a saw or a drill by herself 🙂 )
Dare you today to NOT take your circumstances at face value, but rather ask God to help you SEE through the lens of His Holy Spirit. Double dog dare you to NOT JUDGE yourself, others or circumstances, but rather choose life abundant – and if you cannot SEE His glory in the midst of the trial, ask Him.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
So glad you are here! Dare you to share with others and be a Titus 2 leader today – How has God revealed His goodness to you, even in the midst of difficult circumstances?
Love to you,