On that mission trip to Penasco that I mentioned a few weeks ago, two of us cruised there on bikes. Both looked custom. Mine—a 750 Honda, slightly chopped, “Easy Rider” American flag paint, a custom seat, but basically the bike the factory made. Chris’ had a 750 motor, but totally custom and totally cool—winning the foreign show bike competition at that year’s Winternationals.
From New Mexico I rode the bike on to Nashville to see family, about 5000 miles for the overall trip. The only problem came when a piece of grit got caught in the carb jets, and half an hour took care of that.
Chris had a different story. Near Williams AZ, the tightly fitted rear fender had rubbed just enough to blow out a tire in about 800 miles. Not too many miles later he began swerving in his lane as he tried to raise his seat from the bike’s seat. Bad wiring caused the battery to overheat, warming the bike’s seat considerably. He did make it to Penasco, but half way back home he put the bike in a pickup bed. Unrideable.
Later, I saw some spiritual connections. Honda engineers are educated and experts at building bikes, and my stock 750 showed it. The next summer I covered 31 states and 13,000 miles with no problems. But then some nimrod says, “I want a radical rake on it, with a peanut gas tank and concealed wiring, and a cool paint job.” Although it looks good, it doesn’t perform optimally. It abandoned the expert’s original design.
Our lives match that. Rather than being a cosmic spoilsport who wants to take away our fun, God is the Honda engineer who wants to provide the best riding experience. The best humanity. The best life. Jesus told us he came to give us an abundant life (John 10:10).
Frankly, I’m still working on that, but I’m growing. Just this morning in worship I thought of how satisfying my life is now, particularly compared to the trajectory I was on earlier. Following Jesus is the biggest no-brainer of all time. And my worst times have been when I thought I was smarter than him. He’s God. I’m not. And I live better with that.
Kick Starting the Discussion
Have you thought of God’s rules as a source of loss? How? Which ones? Have you seen the benefits of following his lifestyle? Think about how tremendously countercultural following Jesus is. What can you share with us that you’ve learned about the guidelines given by God?