We, a regular group of motorcyle riders, went on a ride to Warm Lake above Idaho City, ID. On the ride one of the riders went down, walked away with abrasions, sore wrist and ankle, and of course, a bruised ego. I want to tell this story for some good perspective in our Christian walk. I may add the bike, an element in the story did not fair well.
When we joined up in the morning the leader of the ride introduced me to his son. A family man retired from the Navy, with a wife and two children. He was from Florida and owns a bike at home. His father after introducing me as we mingled and talked over coffee made a comment to myself and two other riders that he was concerned his son was a flatlander never having ridden mountain roads.
Of course, I commented out of genuine concern for the son. If you have not ridden this run there are a good many turns, many are rather long switch backs having a continued radius. They are not short quick turns. I told the father, the best thing you can do is have a conversation with your son and tell him that on mountain roads it is important to look thru the corner to where you are going, If you get in trouble, get your head up and look where you want to go and it will likely get you out of trouble. His comment was (some what defensive), well we all have to learn that as we ride”. I commented that yes that is true however there have been a few times I was glad I had discussed this and read about it, it got me out of trouble when I found myself a little hot in a corner. If you focus on the impending impact point, hazard, or center of the turn you will not lean and ride where you need too. You will, in fact, go where you look. That was the end of our chat and he chose not to have that conversation with his son. I was feeling the need to have it with out the permission of the father but chose not to intervene.
As our ride progressed, we got to the mid point in our ride, fueled and stretched the legs and then went on the next 26-mile leg. As we started going through multiple switchbacks and twenty-five mile per hour turns entering most at forty plus mph I thought we are going a bit hot for an inexperienced rider and we should slow down. I was not in a position to affect the group as I had taken up the rearward position. Sure enough, on a long and tight switchback, where you have to make an extended turn, a bike went down. Luckily, at a spot where there was a turnout rather than a creek or rocks. I knew immediately who it was even before I saw him get off the ground. I proceeded to go check his condition and then help get the bike upright.
His comment to me was explanatory, I saw the trees coming, I did not think I could turn anymore and had to lay it down so I could get off. It was self-explanatory, he was focused on the hazard, (Trees) and crashed. We were in a left turn and he went off on the right side. As I looked at the tire signature from the pavement to the gravel and to the point of laying down he simply drove off the road. I did not say anything to all of the others as I felt it was not my place. His wife and kids were there as well as Mom and Dad. The family had been in a car taking up the rear just behind us.
I think this whole incident is instructional. Not that we can’t all make a mistake but when we make one how we react is important. This applies to all of life not just riding the motorcycle. The bike is a good example as it gives you an immediate picture of process and result. Wrong focus, wrong result. It is inherent in the doing.
We all have needs, wants, desires and we all understand this with out expanding the definition. Food, shelter, clothing, love (affection), are some but not all inclusive. We also need direction, wisdom. strength, health and many other adjectives I could add. Where do we look to answer these needs and wants? It is multiple in the answer as we go to friends, relatives, educators, employers, spouse and of course self. We exercise various degrees of control and demand as a rule that we maintain that control. This is often how we begin to look at the wrong place as we seek results. Self is limited by experience and knowledge, the teacher may not cover the need, the motive of others may not be in our best interest and we often just take the risk to the best of our ability in these sources. Yet, we have a sure and perfect source but we must look to it. It is best to look before you get in trouble as with the bike rider which crashed.
In Matthew 6 (read all of the chapter for context) when we come to verse twenty-five we read “For this reason, I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink, nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace. will He not much more clothe you? Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘/what will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all of these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself, Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Did you read that, vs 33 and 34 I have put in bold print. In all of our doing, in all of our worry, in all of our anxiety where do we look? We tend to look at all of the afore mentioned places first; yet, God said he is aware of all of these things. We need to first seek His kingdom.
How do we do that, as Christians, we first look to Christ, he is our focus, and all of these things will be added unto us. It is not all about me and you, it is not all about our ability or our effort and certainly not about our control. It is all about the love and the goodness of our heavenly Father who first sought us through the gift and presence of His Son, Jesus the Christ. He desires to be our provision and we need not despair.
In riding a motorcycle it takes a conscous effort to focue in the right place. It has to be done all of the time, every time we ride. There is not room to error due a poor attitude or lazy manner. How much more than in life? In all honesty, there is only one real focus point In life, that point is our Lord, our savior and redeemer, Jesus the Christ,
Make Him your focus, all of the time, in every turn of life, for this is the only sure path.