Living in Peru sometimes has the effect on me in that I don't always hear the latest news, though I try to keep up with what's going on in the world through the internet. For example, I just found out that Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel died last November of natural causes at the age of 69. I think most people would have thought that the high-flying dare devil would have gone a long time ago through 'unnatural causes.'
I remember as a kid in the 70s being utterly fascinated (1) that someone could actually do the things he could do, and (2) that someone was daring-crazy enough to attempt the things he attempted to do. I have a very vivid memory of playing with my Evel Knievel Scrambal Van out in the driveway on a dark, rainy summer afternoon at my grandparents house in Oklahoma. From a kid's perspective, Evel Knievel was larger than life. Yep, I was a fan.
I read this morning an article in Christianity Today about 'the new day for apologetics' in light of the new challenges of popular atheistic pundits and how folks are being changed by Christians giving good, honest answers about the person and work of Jesus Christ. The article references Lee Stroebel, author of a number of books including, "The Case for Christ." Stroebel speaks of his experience in talking to people about Christ, and one of those people was Evel Knievel who says this book was instrumental in his conversion from atheism to Christianity. Listen to what Stroebel says...
"One of those people was Evel Knievel, the motorcycle daredevil who died in November 2007. Earlier that spring, Knievel called Strobel after a friend gave him a copy of The Case for Christ. Knievel said the book was instrumental in his conversion from atheism to Christianity. Strobel, a motorcycle fanatic since childhood, and Knievel became friends, speaking weekly over the telephone.
"He just transformed in amazing ways," Strobel says. "I know his last interview was with a macho men's magazine, and he broke down crying, talking about his newfound relationship with Christ. He was so grateful. He knew he had lived a very immoral life and regretted that. He told me many times how he wished he could live his life over for God, and yet God reached down in his last days and dragged him into the kingdom. He was so overwhelmed by God's grace. Here was this macho daredevil who became this humble, loving, and sincere follower of Jesus. It was an amazing thing to behold."
Cool story. I look forward to talking with him about his grace story one day and sharing mine with him: two trophies of God's grace.
For memories sake, here is a video of his famous Grand Canyon jump...