Every year, the Royal Ambassadors (Boys 1st-6th Grade) in many churches engage in the pinewood derby. The actual race is only a portion of the whole process of what I call “Driving School”. It is my belief that if we are going to take a good chunk of class time there should be something of significance given to the boys. Of course, the hands-on is important. The ability to draw out the vision, sanding, and painting are good and useful things to know. The following is something I have developed to give as devotions to the boys after each part of the process.
1. Block of Wood (Genesis 1-2) – This block of wood did not magically appear. It came from a Pine tree that was created by the One True God. His hands formed and shaped the tree that would produce this block of wood. You did not magically appear. You were created by God and incubated in your Mother for 9 months. There is much promise in both items!
2. Design (Jeremiah 1:5) – We start out in the Pinewood Derby by remembering what we are trying to accomplish. Every boy needs to have a purpose for what they are doing. Without a purpose in mind, boys will find a way to digress into chaos! Some boys want to win the local, regional, or state races. Some boys want a particular looking car without regard to winning. Either way, each boy begins with a purpose in mind when designing the car. You have a purpose. God knew all about you before you were born. He has a purpose, a reason, for which He designed you: Doctors, Engineers, Teachers, Leaders, Athletes, Missionaries, Preachers, and more. Every boy has a unique design given by God.
3. Cut (Acts 2:37-41) – In order for the car to become all the child desires, the block must be shaped. Just because, the design was drawn out on paper does not mean that block of wood will perform as it is right now. The wood must go through the saw to cut away those parts not needed for the purpose designed. Our lives cannot fulfill the design of God with all the sin. Just like the pieces of wood that are cut off and thrown away. We must have our sin removed too. When we admit that we cannot do that on our own and trust in what Jesus already did through His life, death, and resurrection, we are turning our life over to God who will cut away all that is unnecessary through our faith and repentance.
4. Sand and Weight (1 Peter 1:13-16) – Once the major shape is cut out, you will notice the design taking form. However, it is not ready for racing yet. The boys are excited to see their cars and are ready to throw wheels on and send them down the track. Too often, we believe the same in our own lives. There is more work to do before racing! There are rough edges and ripples in the wood that need to be sanded smooth. When a race can be lost by .001 seconds, the aerodynamics and weight are important. These are details hard for young ones to understand. The men who help them remind them of the importance of weight distribution and smoothness. Our lives need a sense of sanding and distribution also. We have rough edges the Spirit wishes to smooth down. We are out of balance at times and need to have someone mature help us distribute our time, abilities, and money properly.
5. Prime (Ephesians 4:30) – The raw wood, if left this way, can take on the impurities of the air that surrounds it. In addition, if someone spills a liquid too close the wood will suck it up and cause problems with the car. Major remodeling would need to take place. The primer is a required base layer to seal the wood and prepare it for painting. Your life, once you have place faith in Jesus, has been primed and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Once you have placed faith in Jesus you don’t have to keep going back. If you don’t prime a car then the paint does not stick well. Without the Holy Spirit, by faith in Jesus, the religion will not stick because there is no relationship with God.
Check back tomorrow for Steps 6-10. Have a great day!!