~By Sharon Czerwien
I was recently blessed with opportunities to lead two faith-based story times for area kiddos and their families.
What was the theme!?
At the Saturday event, a sweet almost-three-year-old girl colored and gifted me with the attached monster truck picture. I greatly appreciated this gift from her (and told her I would keep it)!
Well, here are some of the things I discussed with the children during the story time…
Though I rarely spell it correctly, I love teaching this word to children!
In my children’s book about monster trucks, one of the sections is about perseverance. At the basic level, perseverance is doing your best, even when it is hard!
Two Monster Truck Driver Examples!
In the story times, I told the children two real-life monster truck driver examples and how these drivers had to persevere.
Here they are:
1. Monster Jam® Driver—Tom Meents
Tom Meents is a very well-known driver in the Monster Jam® world! He is the driver of Maximum Destruction (Max-D) and has won many world championships and other awards.
If you watch this video, you will learn that Tom Meents worked on a new type of monster truck backflip for Monster Jam® World Finals. Specifically, he drove backward into a forward momentum backflip…woah!
According to the video, it took Tom Meents and his team over a year to master this specialty stunt.  Yes, that’s perseverance at its best!
2. Monster Jam® Driver—Brianna Mahon
Brianna Mahon is my FAVORITE monster truck driver, and she is the driver of Whiplash! For my children’s book, she willingly let me interview her with specific monster truck questions.
I shared in the story time how Brianna Mahon had her own version of perseverance. Though the example is completely different than what we learned about Tom Meents, Brianna’s example is just as interesting!
For Brianna Mahon, her biggest obstacle to work through during her Monster Jam® training days involved media training. Since she was an otherwise shy person, it was a terrifying thing to be interviewed or to speak to crowds (sometimes up to 80,000 people!).
She admitted that it took much practice, but that she is now able to be much more comfortable in interviews—whether for the news, television shows, or radio programs.
I loved Brianna’s honesty about her need to persevere in this area. She knew it was part of the Monster Jam® “world” for the drivers to do interviews, and she was willing to put in the hard practice and persevere, even when she may not have felt like it (and while out of her comfort zone). 
This, too, is perseverance at its best!
The Promise of God’s Strength!
At the story time, I encouraged the children (and myself, and Lord-willing some of the "grown-ups") that God does not leave us to do life’s hard work on our own!
I then read the following Bible verses to the children:
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31
I teased with the children that the promises in this verse *do not mean* that God will suddenly give them the biggest arm muscles to hit the biggest baseball homerun. Also, God will not all the sudden give them super big arm and leg muscles if they were in gymnastics so that they could do all kinds of shocking new flips.
Here are the two main points I shared with the children. They (and we!) can pray to God in order to:
· Have the strength to keep trying/to do their best, even in the middle of something incredibly hard!
· Have the strength to keep a good attitude, even when they have a hard project to work on!
Since God is NEVER tired or weary, His strength is ALWAYS available to meet our persevering needs. We just need to ask God for His abundantly-available strength!
~Trusting in God’s strength,
 “Monster Jam World Finals 30th Encore Making Of” by Monster Jam
 Bumps Are Okay for KIDS and Other Biblical Lessons Learned from Monster Trucks!
(Lucid Publishing, October 2022).