Far be it from me to chuck stones at Hot Rod Magazine. I've been a subscriber for years. Added to that, Shannan and I are just 15 days away from joining three thousand fellow hot rod enthusiasts for the Hot Rod Power Tour, a 7-day, 7-city cruise from Cocoa Beach, Fl to Detroit, Michigan. I have been counting down the days for months!I am a hot rod loving preacher, but this month's headline got me thinking about more than fast cars. This issue of Hot Rod pays tribute to the on-going feud between Ford and Chevy. If you thought the Hatfields and McCoy's had a little trouble getting along, don't stand between a Ford-lover and Chevy-lover! It won't be pretty. Hence, the banner headline, "THIS IS WAR!" Oh, the power of hyperbole for capturing attention!
As I glanced at that cover sitting on my dining room table, I thought about some of the contests we elevate to levels that far exceed their importance:
- Car wars
- Sports rivalries
- Coffee brewer battles
- News channel clashes
I'm all for competition, but I wonder if sometimes I get way too fired up over things that matter way too little. Paul puts the real battle into perspective for me:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:10-20 ESV)
The real war is not Ford vs Chevy, Starbucks vs Dunkin' Donuts, the Miami Heat vs the Chicago Bulls, CNN vs FOX, Pros vs Joes, or NASCAR vs Indy Racing. The real war is spiritual. It is waged against powers unseen. And it is fought for the human soul. Like Paul, you and I stand on this battlefield. Are you ready for the fight?
I'm going to enjoy my time on the Hot Rod Power Tour, and I'll listen to the friendly banter about Fords and Chevys. But I want to remember where the real battle lies. This is war!