Here is a story about a piece of my life and what I believe, what Jesus means to me, and what motorcycling means to me. I realize there are many non-christians on this site, maybe this will be interesting to you? I realized I might get criticized and made fun of for this, but this is reality for me and I won't turn back, even in death.
Concerning riches, I think less is more. Riches are a drug, the more you have, the more you want. If personal satisfaction does not appear in the basics, then why will it appear in abundance? Proverbs 15:16 “Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it”. I would like to share my motorcycling story and how I think it has changed in my heart.
I bought a “new to me bike” last year and fell in love with it. A 2006 Suzuki Katana 600. I love riding and the feeling of freedom, the white noise of the wind soothing me with no cell phones or music or idle chatter. I really find peace when I go for a ride in stopping to look at God’s creation and enjoying the little I have in this world. I enjoy ripping it up once in a while as well, but that quickly tires. I shared my new bike with my father in law and it was sporty compared to the bikes he has ridden in the last 20 years and I guess the comparative nimble handling and comfort was really appealing to him.
His next visit he came home with a terrifyingly fast bike. It was a 2008 GSX-R 1000, More power than a bike should have. Six speed transmission, will do 160 km/h in first gear at redline (tried it) and will get there in nearly the blink of an eye. Of course he let me try it and I was consumed. If power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely right? So needless to say I was left in want... absolutely corrupted. My heavy underpowered slug of a bike was no longer fitting. In his observance of my loss of satisfaction in my purchase, he later offered to buy me something more satisfactory for my new thirst for horsepower as I could not afford such a luxury. I of course, chose the undisputed fastest production motorcycle made according to “cycle world” in 2008. Hey, it also fit my other requirements as well, same layout as the bike I had already purchased for comfort and of course my preferred manufacturer - Suzuki. I never received this bike, but I will continue with the story.
We went for a few group rides this summer. I had a hard time keeping up to my father in law, not because of the lack of power my bike had, but because of fear! I feared the police (we may have, um... exceeded the maximum posted speed), my own error in the possibility of crashing while negotiating the unfamiliar highway and I also had these nagging urges to stop for more than just fuel, in order to take in some still air and some beautiful scenery.
Unexpectedly, during one ride last summer the sum of all my fears happened, my new friend Billy (16 years old and I changed his name) on an older bike, but the identical model to mine failed to negotiate a corner. A motorcyclist’s worst nightmare, a decreasing radius, right hand, blind corner on the side of a steep mountain going too fast! He leaned to no avail and braked with inexperience to try to save his preferred path, but crossed the center line and ended up stopped in the gravel shoulder a foot away from the cement barricade separating him from a long steep rocky slope to death. Amazingly there was no oncoming traffic to make things worse. I can only say that Jesus Christ intervened at that point and saved Billy’s life, maybe not for Billy’s benefit directly but also for my father in law’s and mine as we would have had to live with the consequences of our thirst for speed for the rest of our lives . My father in law was in the lead at that time and quite far ahead of us. The mishap was shrugged off as a close call at the time and we continued on our journey, my father in law not even realizing what had happened until the story was shared at the next fuel stop.
The season ended with the absence of my father in law needing to pay off his new toy, trucking many miles away. I went for a few more rides, a lot more mellow than that day where we had our close call. Enjoying a little more than just raw speed and adrenaline, but nature and stops with the occasional visiting of another rider.
Over the winter I have been suffering from Parked Motorcycle Syndrome or PMS and devilishly craving the new bike to get out and experience the “God-like” power on the road, left in question of my self control and my abilities to enjoy it without going to jail or dying.
A major turning point happened this week. Due to religious differences, and I believe some external influences on him, our relationship has gone from my father in law wanting to give me a lavish new bike a mere 3 months ago, to disowning my wife and I and we are to regard him as “dead”. But that is a whole other long story.
With no reasonable “fix” for my new found adrenaline craving for the future I had to enter “de-tox” mode and start thinking about the new season coming on my current bike. I travel all of the lower half of the province for my job and I am hoping to maybe take my bike to all of my destinations this year. I am thinking I want to focus on the adventure, peace and scenery this year and renew my heart to how I started in motorcycling. Feeling the change in temperatures while riding through a shadow, smelling patches of wildflowers as I ride by them and braving the elements and enjoying them as they have the freedom to change as they please.
Also as a christian I hope to find other riders who share the same passions I do, as well as make some new friends to fellowship with both on the ride and off. I think I may have even suffered corruption in my salvation if I received that new fancy bike. Craving the next rush, breaking the law to do it and wronging my savior. I challenge anyone who reads this to stop and undertake a quick evaluation about what they want in life. Whether the fellowship and nature are optional, or whether the rush and the asphalt are all that is needed. I don’t want to be selfish and vain going for broke as I try to fill the bottomless void of the desires of the flesh. I want to fill my soul with joy in the things of the God who created me and the earth and the people in it.
If today, the offer of the new machine was reinstated I believe I would have to reject it. I could see myself maybe going for an adventure touring bike such as the DL650SEA, but “no” to the beast of acceleration that calls to my flesh. Sad situation to most, but I praise the Lord for providing what I already have and saving me from the temptation that may lead to my imprisonment or death. The grim reaper with the alias “Hayabusa” still calls me, but I feel, we as a team will never be able to make it to old age or heaven together. I hope it will be a safe 2009 season and I will be able to harvest the joy I long for as I explore new roads with the submission to Jesus Christ in my heart.
Thanks for reading,