In Rachel Remen’s book “My Grandfather’s Blessings” she tells of playing Hot Wheels with her 6-year-old nephew, Kenny. Kenny had two of the little cars and they had a great time with imaginary traffic events, and crashes, and drives along the cliff edge, the window sill. An oil company’s promotion of giving away Hot Wheels for gas purchases allowed Rachel and her friends to present Kenny with a box of every model of the cars.
The gift had a puzzling impact on Kenny. He lost interest in playing with the cars! When asked, he told Rachel that “he didn’t know how to love this many cars”! She was stunned. She said: “Ever since, I have been careful to be sure not to have more Hot Wheels then I can love.”
While not part of Rachel Remen’s story, I would like to think that Kenny, one day while playing with a friend who had no cars, found a way to love that gift box of cars. I can imagine this little boy thinking these old cars of mine are for playing, while the cars in that box are for giving. What a thought.
The story of Kenny is a parable, as much as the Good Samaritan is a parable. It is an acting out of Philippians 2:3-4 . 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Maybe in this parable of Kenny, it was so much more important to make another happy than to have. The last words that Buddha spoke to his followers were: “Make of yourself a light.” The meaning of that statement is deep and, in my mind, consistent with Christ-centeredness. In 2 Timothy, Paul is encouraging Timothy. He is saying, in effect, you have all the necessary gifts, now use them and God will guide and support you. Make of yourself a light!
Stephen Brown in his wonderful book, “If God Is In Charge”, says this in his introduction:
“Many of us Christians rarely examine the implications of our beliefs. In other words, we hold a particular set of doctrinal presuppositions without ever asking some very important questions: So What? What effect should my beliefs have on the way I live?”
Maybe the answer or the principle is this: Belief that has no practical result ceases to be belief. It becomes a fantasy, a story told to make you feel good, and grist of Bible study groups that stimulates discussion, and then we walk away without a lesson learned. Do we collect too many “Hot Wheels”, or wealth for that matter, without realizing that we have a “box for giving?”
What are you doing with your “Hot Wheel” collection?