As I kid I remember riding around the neighbourhood on my BMX looking for things to jump. My inspiration for this at the time was Evel Knievel. I didn’t know much about Evel Knievel–only that he could do things on a motorcycle that no one else on the planet would even dare to attempt. Later in life, I learned of the extent of Evel Knievel’s wealth–that he had 5 Rolls Royces, 5 Ferraris, Lamborghinis, 2 jet airplanes, diamonds, gold, racing horses–you name it, Evel Knievel likely had it. What I didn’t know until recently was that, in spite of all that he had accomplished, Evel Knievel regarded himself to be “empty”. For years Evel resisted Christianity and the God who pursued him. By his own admission, Evel Knievel “didn’t want to be told what to do.”
Thankfully, this story takes a remarkable turn. After much searching and struggling, Evel Knievel learned that Christianity wasn’t so much about rules as it was a relationship. Evel learned that the One he spent his life running from and resisting was actually the answer to his search for fulfillment. “I’m so complete now”, was how Evel Knievel described himself after finding salvation in Jesus Christ.
Evel Knievel died in 2007 as a man feeling “complete”.
Undoubtedly, this ‘completeness’ is something we all want for ourselves. This desire for fulfillment is a function of our being created by God for God. Yes, there is a God-shaped void in all of us. Instinctively, we attempt to fill that void with a myriad of things, but are unable to shake the “empty” feeling within us.
Thankfully, God pursues us. The grand message of the New Testament is that the God who created us for Himself, draws us to Himself and “completes” us through His Son Jesus Christ.
Connected to Christ, what is empty is filled up; what was once lost is now found; what was old and tainted is replaced by that which is new and pure. In short, we change.
There’s the sense that what Evel Knievel experienced should be what each of us experiences when we come to Christ. It’s a new start and a spiritual rebirth (John 3:3). The new start doesn’t mean we’re now perfect (far from it!), but it does mean we have a new direction, a new purpose, and a new hope. And above all, we have a new Master, Captain, and King. Evel Knievel got that, and it satisfied his soul.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be like Evel Knievel. I still want to be like Evel Knievel……just for different reasons now.
May I encourage you to listen to my message, ‘The New You’ (based on Colossians 3:1-10)