Warning: This post is going to have thoughts on Spiritual matters. For anyone reading this blog who might be irritated by these thoughts, I would still encourage you to stick around and read the full article. You might find that you still relate a little bit to what I have to say.
Riding a motorcycle is a strangely wonderful thing. On one hand, there is calmness and peace that I experience when riding a motorcycle. It may be strange to say it, but I feel closer to God when I ride. Not physically closer of course (although my wife might argue that point given her views on the dangers of motorcycles), but in my heart and mind, I feel closer to Him. I have found that I can easily pray and talk to God, even on my 30 minute commute to and from work. I don’t have the distractions of a car radio or talking on my cell phone. I just focus on the ride, and speak with God as I ride. I feel calm when I ride.
Then on the other hand, a motorcycle can be dangerous. Today I learned that a friend’s son has been killed in a motorcycle accident. He was only 18…a smart, polite, and respectful young man with exceptional manners to match. I had known him since he was a toddler, and can honestly say that he really was a rarity in today’s world. When I think about the tragedy that took this young man’s life, I wonder if riding a motorcycle is worth it. I have a wonderful wife and three amazing children, and I wonder if the risk is worth the reward. They support me in my desire to ride, and my kids even want to ride with me, but how would I feel if something happened to one of them? Would being on a motorcycle still be worth it to me?
Thinking back to our friend’s son, my mind wanders to the question that many people ask when a difficult situation comes: Where Was God? Why did He allow this to happen? Why do we suffer and experience so much heartache in this life?
But then I remember a few things. First, I believe that God still exists and cares deeply about what happens to us. While He cares, He does not tell us that we should or shouldn’t ride a motorcycle. We are not robots…He gives us the ability to make our own decisions. There is pain and suffering in the world because it is an imperfect world that is filled with sin. I do not believe that we will ever understand why things happen. Additionally, it is not our place to understand. We are finite human beings who are unable to see the world through anything other then a limited view of time.
Second, I believe that God is completely sovereign and in control. If it is our time to go, then there is nothing we can do about that. It may be in a car, on a motorcycle, or an airplane crash. Or, it could be something routine in every day life, like when my 22 year old brother collapsed and died of an enlarged heart right after giving first aid to someone else. Granted, I believe that we do have a personal responsibility to ensure that we are being wise. As such, I always choose to ride with a full face helmet, an armored jacket, gloves, and boots. Always. Even on the 3/4 mile ride to my parent’s home. Will it save me if it is my time to go? No…nothing will. But if I am in an accident in between now and then, I believe that I will be doing my part to use wisdom in how I ride, and perhaps the gear will help me from being seriously injured.
Third, I cannot be afraid of life. I could die tomorrow going for a run through our neighborhood. Should I be afraid of running or going outside? Of course not. It’s the same thing with my kids. I want my children to grow up with a good deal of common sense and maturity to make good decisions, but I cannot keep them in a box because I am afraid of something happening to them. I encourage them to go outside, to play, and to enjoy the life that they have been given.
So will I ride forever? Probably not. In fact, if my family asked me not to ride tomorrow, I would honor their request, sell my bike, and be thankful for the time that I did have. Riding is not my life. It isn’t what defines me. It is something that I have the privilege of taking part in, for however short or long that might be.
For now, I continue to ride, and will enjoy these moments that I feel just that little bit closer to God.