The demolition derby at the Murray/Calloway County Fair is there the all boys camp started. Evidently, the purpose of a demolition derby is for the cars to destroy each other—to hit and be hit.
In true Melissa fashion, she likened the demolition derby to life for the boys. You can get hit hard in a variety of ways. The boys talked about “trouble with friends” and “family stuff” as two of the biggest areas of hits/hurts in their lives.
In the derby, each car has a stick on it, within reach of the driver. When a car has been hit so many times that his car will no longer work, he breaks the stick. In essence, he surrenders.
“Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner…Trust Him. He knows what He’s doing and He’ll keep on doing it.”
1 Peter 4:12-13, 19, The Message
Melissa talked with the boys about this verse and how difficult it can be trust Him and trust that He is for us. So, she gave the boys each a small stick to signify their surrender to God. Every night, during the teaching, the boys had an opportunity to break the stick, representing their desire to trust and surrender to Christ.
During their time at the fair, the announcer came on the loudspeaker and said to one driver, “You have one minute to move and hit someone, or you’ll be disqualified.”
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the parable of the talents. In the story, three servants are given talents to keep while their master is away. One servant was given five, one servant two, and the last was given one talent. The servants with five and two talents traded them, and made even more money for their master. The servant with one talent buried it, and made none. He “was afraid and went and hid the talents in the ground.” In other words, he parked his car and refused to take any risks in his own demolition derby.
Melissa used this story to encourage the boys to take risks—to use the gifts God has placed inside of them—to reach out, to give, to love, to speak, to lead…to believe that God can use each of their lives and stories to make a difference. “He knows what He’s doing and will keep on doing it.”