We had a couple new faces in the crowd this week, and continued out theme of “cars and trucks” through our activities and devotional.
Following our opening ceremony, the Junior Rangers organized teams for games and led the fun while monitoring for good sportsmanship.
Our activities included several word searches and crossword puzzles on the cars and trucks theme. Boys were encouraged to work as teams, taking turns finding key words or solving riddles for crossword clues. Junior Rangers stood close by to offer assistance and individualized encouragement so that no one became frustrated or felt isolated during the exercise.
Ranger Stephen offered the devotional discussion on “ENGINES”: he took time to present open ended questions to the group, and draw from them their creative and fun answers. While they typically presented the most obvious response, he was able to encourage them to think about a broader context and discover new connections. As part of his program, he handed out select bible verses and asked volunteers to read a short set aloud. Following each reading, he would ask the group how that set of verses helps to clarify our thinking and understanding of our own roles as specially created individuals.
Ranger Stephen provided a concise recap of that discussion, below:
We’ve been talking about cars and trucks as of late, and they are driven by engines, however, in the world we also have search engines like google, siege engines like catapults, and locomotives like steam engines besides.
So what is an engine? An engine is something built to accomplish a particular task, something made with a purpose in mind.
Thinking about that, we can say that God made the world with a purpose in mind, so that can be seen as a form of engine. It is worth noting that it is an engine we are responsible for, as pointed out in Psalms 8, God has made mankind rulers over the works of his hands, this is also seen in Genesis 1:26-28. Beyond even that, the task of general stewardship of the world given, God has special purposes in mind for each one of us, making us all engines of a sort!
Now, there is something else that needs to be said about engines, engines require certain things (i.e. fuel, input of data, etc.) to run correctly:
- a diesel engine needs diesel fuel, and
- a basic calculator works with numbers,
However, if you were to substitute sugar-water for diesel fuel, the engine not only might not run, it might flat out destroy the diesel engine, and if you tried to use letters instead of numbers, the calculator wouldn’t understand the input and couldn’t provide it’s services to you.
So it is important that we learn to distinguish good fuel from bad, and proper operation from improper operation.
The bible on the whole is great for that, but Proverbs is a very dense collection of suggestions to work with:
- Proverbs 3:5-8 reminds us first that we will not understand everything that happens in life, but God has his reasons if we will trust him. Further, his rules will, to stretch the analogy, keep the driveshaft aligned, and finally, even in less profound issues, we don’t know everything, but turning away from evil will be refreshment.
- Proverbs 3:27-31 Suggests that we should not withhold good from others when we can give it, be it encouragement, service, or physical support. Moreover, this passage warns us against seeking conflict where none has been called for and to choose role models with care.
- Proverbs 10:17 points out that instruction, from trustworthy sources, is meant for your good, and introduces the concept of a “reproof.” When a younger sibling reaches for a hot pot, you would warn them, you would tell them not to touch it, you would be reproving them. It’s not a very scary word or concept, it is simply to warn sternly.
- Proverbs 12:25 introduces a simple example of both good and bad fuel directly, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” We probably won’t always resist anxiety, but it is something to remember.
- Proverbs 12:26 notes that those who are righteous, those with good fuel, is a trustworthy guide to his neighbor, and then warns that the wicked, those with bad fuel, will lead them astray.
- Proverbs 13:12 talks about a few issues we can’t always control, “hope deferred,” the forestalling of that desired, can weigh you down, and in some cases weigh heavily, and a longing fulfilled, a true longing, is almost never fulfilled purely on your own sole efforts, expectations can be adjusted slightly, but such adjustments will require a lot of time, and if care is not taken to have the right mind about things before such delays appear, they can be a weighty matter to deal with indeed.
Obviously, there is much more that can be said on the subject, but for now, this is what I have to provide based on what I was able to read in preparation for tonight’s discussion.
REMINDER – NO MEETING ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 10th DUE TO COLUMBUS DAY HOLIDAY.