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Post  Admin on Tue 06 Sep 2011, 11:02 am

Brought to us by Paula
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, she decided it would be best if she simply
read the directions and let Gilbert do the work. And he did. She read aloud the
measurements, the rules of what they 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 they headed to the big race. Once there Gilbert's pride turned to
humility. His 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 there. 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 the young
boy 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 fathers 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 struggle. Gilbert didn't pray to win, thus hurt someone else, he
prayed that God supply the grace to lose with dignity. Gilbert, by his stopping
the race to speak to his Father also showed the crowd that he wasn't there
without a "dad", but His Father was most definitely there with him. Yes, Gilbert
walked away a winner that night, with his Father at his side.

Posts : 66613
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

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