Evel Knievel Would Do It!

How many of you remember Evel Knievel?  If you have no idea who I am talking about or it’s a distant memory, let me give you a brief description.  He was a daredevil and international icon.  He attempted more than seventy-five ramp to ramp jumps with a motorcycle from 1965-1980.  He even tried a canyon jump at Snake River Canyon in the Skyrocket X-2, which was a steam powered rocket which failed.  He was willing to try almost anything.  I am sure my parents thought he was crazy, but we idolized him.

I don’t remember how we got it up there but we did.  My brother, Donnie, and I carried his bike to the hay loft.  Why would we do such a thing?  Well I had an idea . . . let’s ride our bikes out of the hayloft it was something I thought that Evel Knievel would do!  But who was to go first?  I tried and tried to convince Donnie that he should do it, but he just would not budge until I made this statement:  Evel Knievel would do it!  And I bet you could not guess what happened next?  He rode that bike right off that loft and hit that ground so hard, but he did stay upright but boy did it hurt.  I quickly decided that one was enough!

As I look back on this I realize that I had influence over my younger brother and I talked him into doing something he probably should not have done and really could have been seriously injured.  But I used my influence to get him to do it.   As I was recalling that, it made me think, how do we use our influence?  We all have it no matter how big or how small our circles are, we influence others.  Looking back now it is humorous because no one was seriously injured, but what if it turned out differently.  What if my brother would have fell and broken his back and was paralyzed for the rest of his life or he fell and was killed.  I would not look back on that story as one of humor but one of tragedy. 

I don’t want to look back at my life and see a tragedy, and I know I made some mistakes and I have harmed the kingdom because I used my influence incorrectly.  I followed people and things that lead me away from Christ and not to Christ.  I sometimes painted a poor picture of what it was to follow Jesus and I am so sorry for some of my past mistakes.  But I am so thankful for the grace of God that He has forgiven me of those errors and that I can live differently today. 

How about you?  How are you using your influence?  If your influence and life have not measured up, how about changing that today?  Let’s all start living a life that would lead to rejoicing and not sadness.  Let’s use our influence for the Kingdom and show the world what Christ’s follower really look like.