Tuesday, December 3, 2002
Probably the most exciting American auto race of the year is the Indianapolis 500. Several have suggested that I should drive in it, but I think I'll hold off on that. Now, on the days before the race, anticipation grows as the drivers compete in the time trials and qualifying events that lead up to the big race. Then on the day itself, those powerful engines start revving, the fans and promoters are cheering, and the cars make their first drive around that legendary track. But there's no race that first lap. In fact, all the cars are going the same speed, led by some guy with flags flying out his window. Who is this guy? Well, he's the driver of the pace car, and everyone starts the race at the pace he sets!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Pace Car in Every Race."
Now our word for today from the Word of God goes back to the dawn of all human relationships and the birth of the family, and it reveals who God considers the pace car in life's races. Genesis 3:6 - "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it." Here, in this awful moment, sin and death enter the world as Adam and Eve trespass the clear boundaries of God.
The Bible goes on to say, "Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord called to the man, 'Where are you?'" (Genesis 3:8-9) Now that's interesting. Eve sinned first, but God comes looking for the man. Why? Because God designed Adam to be the pace car for Eve. God gave the instructions about the tree of life to the man, not the woman, obviously expecting him to set that pace for his wife. But Eve diluted God's words and brought on disaster.
God seems to be saying here, "If Eve is having a problem, I'm looking to Adam for the reason." If Adam isn't right, then Eve isn't right. The climate, the pace is meant to be set by the man.
If you're a man who's wondering let's say why your wife nags so much, maybe it's because of you - maybe it's because you're not listening. If she's bossy, maybe it's because you won't take charge - she's just stepping into the vacuum left by her man. If the woman in your life seems detached, maybe it's because you haven't had much time for her. If the pace car isn't setting the right pace, then Eve's car starts veering and sliding, going too fast, or going too slow.
If Adam isn't right, then Cain and Abel, the children, won't be right either. Children act out either not enough love or not enough discipline if Dad neglects his leadership in their lives. He is meant to be their pace car. And if Adam isn't right, the Garden isn't right either. There's stress, conflict and confusion all around if the man who's supposed to be leading isn't.
If you're in Adam's half of the human race, could some of your frustrations be because you're neglecting God, you're forfeiting your God-given responsibility to your wife or children to be a spiritual leader? In God's eyes, the buck stops with the man. So if the cars around you are speeding or swerving or crashing, look at the pace car - that's you.