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A recent advertisement by tells the fictional story of a wonder child named Timothy Richman. From his earliest years, Timothy displayed an amazing level of confidence, and his confidence came from knowledge.

As a toddler in his high chair, he saw a pan of food cooking on the stove catch fire. Knowing somehow that baking soda puts out fires, Timothy calmly threw his rattle at a box of baking soda located on a shelf above the flaming pan, knocking over the box, which poured the soda into the pan and extinguished the flames.

As a boy about to learn to ride a bike, Timothy stands straddling the bike as his dad prepares to put on the training wheels. Timothy says, "Balance, momentum, and a low center of gravity," and with that knowledge fully absorbed, before Timothy's dad can get the training wheels on, Timothy pedals the bike away.

In junior high, Timothy confidently walks up to a teen on an Italian beach who has been stung on the leg by a jellyfish and acting on his knowledge of first aid he pours vinegar on the inflamed skin. He explains in perfect Italian that vinegar can neutralize jellyfish stings.

As a high school student on safari in Africa, he uses his knowledge of veterinary obstetrics to deliver a baby Bengal tiger that was breeched.

As an adult, Timothy gets out of his car on a highway as a tornado approaches a bus full of cheerleaders. Using his knowledge of storm cells and tornadoes, he explains to the cheerleaders that they will be safe if they exit the bus and lie in a low-lying depression beside the road. Just as the cheerleaders and Timothy jump safely into the ditch, the bus rises in the air and is carried away by the tornado.

The narrator explains, however, as Timothy stands with a scared look on his face in a new car lot, "When it came time to buy a new car, he was just as nervous as the rest of us."

Then Timothy sees a sign and pulls out his cell phone. The narrator concludes, "So Timothy Richman got his knowledge at, regained his confidence, and got the perfect car at the perfect price."

This commercial entertainingly illustrates the fact that no matter how much knowledge and confidence we have in many areas of life, we can still be clueless in another important area of living. The fact is, no matter how smart we are, apart from God's help we are clueless about important spiritual truths.

(From a sermon by Freddy Fritz, Boasting Only in the Lord, 1/29/2011)

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