Some of my redneck friends had an extra ticket for the sold out Monster Jam show in Jacksonville, so I decided to go along and enjoy the raucous event with about 70,000 other people. I can't remember seeing so much camouflage material in any one place since my youth, growing up as an Army brat. The show was a thrilling experience of Southern culture and a tribute to the genius of hill billy engineering. Here are a few "spiritual" highlights from the evening . . .
I was with a group of Christian men, including several excited new believers. After some particularly amazing monster truck action, one of my friends looked at me with a huge grin and shouted, "Monster trucks are almost as cool as Jesus!" His innocent enthusiasm almost made me laugh, but I simply smiled back with a gentle shake of the head. "They're incredible," I said, "but they ain't nowhere near as cool as Jesus." (I was using my best good 'ol boy language here).
Sitting next to me at the event was Pastor Ryan Boys of Providence Community Church. Ryan is a graduate of The Master's College and Dallas Theological Seminary, with a Master's Degree in Biblical Exegesis and Linguistics. Needless to say we had some good conversation, and I especially enjoyed listening to Pastor Ryan answer all sorts of questions from the other guys. He showed himself wise and astute in various matters, Biblical and practical alike. I thank our great God for sending men of this caliber to Jacksonville.
Thoughts and Reflections
I learned a few things from watching the monster trucks. With the right power source, some impressive things can be accomplished. But sometimes the most spectacular demonstrations are followed by the most humbling crashes. And when your wheels have been unexpectedly blown off from the overwhelming impact, your polished exterior is laying in a heap and you think you can't even move anymore, there are a bunch of folks who will run from every direction to help you out. God will put the big machinery into action to get you fixed up, because He's committed to getting you upright again. In the end, it's not the flashy finish but what's under the hood. It's not the solo performance but the group effort. I was more amazed by the rolling and tumbling of the trucks (the sheer abuse they can take!) - followed by the expertly coordinated rescues - than the high flying heroics of a multi-ton vehicle effortlessly hurtling itself 25 feet off the ground.
The Back Flip
We witnessed a great spectacle when one of the trucks quite accidentally accomplished a complete back flip in the air! The crowd went berserk. Apparently it had never been done exactly this way in any previous monster truck competition, and it was awfully impressive to see. Well, that's super, and it was real exciting - but it ain't even almost as cool as Jesus.