The core group of this summer’s ride to Glacier National Park broke up in Redding, in north California. Jerry spun off the day before near his home in Oregon; Brad got released from the hospital after his collision with a deer, and he and Mick stayed a few days to celebrate the birthday of Brad’s dad, who was also Mick’s brother-in-law. I headed south alone for the last 600 mile leg.
Now, I love riding, but at the end of a trip the desire to get home grows, and I was ready to see my wife and our cats. Notice the order, OK? So I pulled out about 4:30 in the darkness before dawn, and hit the garage door remote about 2:30. 10 hours and 600 miles is a good day’s ride, but even with the sport touring bike my body felt it. And, I knew the solution.
We have a local massage school with interns that give reasonably priced deep tissue massages that loosen up the kinks. Honestly, I feel 30 years younger for about a week. I may get 2-3 a year, but wish I could go each week.
Usually I get on the table under the sheet, ask a generic question about how they got into massage, and then I just relax and enjoy the pain. A few groans and grunts are it. But she asked where I worked, and told her Oaks Christian High. She chuckled, and revealed she’d graduated from St. Bonadventure, our biggest sports rival. The gap increased—she went to college at Loyola Marymount, the biggest rival to my college, Pepperdine.
Since both of her schools were Roman Catholic, I asked if she was one. “Well, I grew up that way. Not sure I’d call myself one now, even though I believe the basics. But I do see myself as a spiritual person.”
I couldn’t resist, and asked what she meant by “spiritual.” Then led into the longest discussion I’ve ever experienced on a massage table. Her take—as long as you’re a good person, you’re OK. So I asked why Jesus had to die, if our being good is good enough. To her credit, she sensed the quandary.
No, she didn’t “ask Jesus into her heart” while she beat up my body on the table. But she did begin to dig a bit deeper into the implications of her belief system. I was sore, but very content.
Now, how does this relate to Unconventional? That’s pretty easy, actually. If small things count, then we can look for small things to spark spiritual conversations. If we’re happy to make small impacts on others, realizing we likely won’t get the whole enchilada, then we can have sometimes brief, sometimes effective conversations.
I have no idea if she’s pursued the issues we talked about. She and her husband were soon moving to another area. Guess I can leave the next step to the Holy Spirit.
Kick Starting the Discussion
Have you had some experiences like that, where a spiritual conversation unexpectedly popped up? Were you able to spark it? How did it go? Were you ready? What made it work? Did anything keep it from working? How can you be more ready when these chances arise?