I remember my dad, in the field by our house, on his 1979 Honda XL175. It was black and red, and a huge bike, at least compared to me, since I was 10 at the time. I had a small yellow moped. He was teaching me the fine art of using the clutch and the gas to perform a move of beauty; the wheelie. Mom didn’t know what we were doing, and it’s a good thing. I doubt she would have been too happy with us. Over and over he would demonstrate how the timing of the gas, along with popping the clutch at just the right time, would help me get the front wheel up, and then using the gas and brake to keep my balance. It took awhile, but I got it.
Then there was Andy. Andy was a guy who was three years older than me, and a nationally ranked bmx racer. He further refined the wheelie craft, teaching me how to ride a wheelie on a bmx bike. Not the kind of wheelie where you stand up, pedal as hard as you can, and go about 10 feet. He taught me how to balance, sit on my seat, use my brakes, and go forever on one wheel. I remember the first time I rode a wheelie for one mile on the school’s track. It was a big day.
Over the years, I taught dozens and dozens of kids how to ride wheelies. I taught kids in the inner city, in suburbs, from all across America. It was hilarious, because I would be somewhere doing a show, busting out all of the hardest tricks I knew. But eventually, some kid would ask me to do a wheelie. Then it was on. I wouldn’t just do one, I would begin teaching them how to do it. It was so fun to watch them figure it out, and ride off to show all of their friends.
All right, I know, who cares? Well, in a sense, God does. This idea of passing on what is important in life is seen in Judges 2. The nation of Israel has experienced 20 years of growth and peace in their new land. But then we are told that the entire generation that had lived in the desert, and had watched God deliver them at Jericho and other battles; they all died. Now it was up to their kids, the third generation out of Egypt’s time of slavery. Here is what it says:
“10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.”
Can you imagine that? Just three generations in from all of the miracles, and these kids don’t know God, or any of the stories He had performed. In the words of the short villain from “The Princess Bride”: that’s inconceivable!
But it happens today, too.
If we don’t tell our stories of God and what He has done in our life, they die with us. It doesn’t matter if you are 11, 16, 25, 38, or 62. We need to be passing on our stories, today. We need to invest in other people, and point them to Jesus by showing what He has done, and what He is doing, in our lives.
It might be through helping with a local youth group if you are an adult or college student. It might be volunteering in children’s ministry if you are a teenager or a parent. Simply sharing with your friends is one way to pass on God’s truth. Teaching your little sister or brother what you’ve seen God do at camp, at work, in your family, on a retreat, on in a ministry can make all the difference in the world.
You see, the third generation in Judges didn’t know about God because their parents hadn’t told them. That was all it took.
Who will you invest in? Where will you get involved this week? It’s crucial for you to pass on what you know.
And if you want to know how to ride a killer wheelie, I’d be happy to teach you that one as well.