Some of the best experiences of my life have come when I knew enough to compromise. A recent ride with Rich Klinsky, above at Michael’s Restaurant in Taos, provides an example. We go back a long time, growing up at the same church in Long Beach CA, and began riding together as soon as I got a bike 47 years ago. He rides a Harley, I a Honda, but we’re close. Honest.
But. Our riding styles differ. A lot. I like to ride. A lot. I started with a solo ride of 630 miles, and I loved pushing myself A bit too goal-oriented, a major strength and weakness of mine. But on the day we connected in Taos, Rich got a late start and had logged 450 miles coming from his home in South Dakota. On a Harley. So rather than ride another 400 miles or so the next day on our projected route, we took the Enchanted Circle, a marvelous 80 mile loop. Under two hours of riding time. It took all day. We stopped just about every place we could and had something to eat or drink or view. He took a lot of pics, but he IS a professional photographer. At one stop, Rich leaned back on the bench, sighed and smiled, “This is the kind of riding I love.”
I smiled while thinking, “But let’s get our butts in the seats!” OK, I did enjoy the leisurely pace, but I gave up riding more that day. And I was OK with it.
Rich’s turn came on the next to last day. We left Springerville AZ heading to Prescott and then to Blythe CA, 430 miles. But Blythe was expected to reach 110 degrees, pure misery on two wheels. So we spend several hours in Prescott until dusk, so the desert would cool a bit before the 160 miles to our motel.
I didn’t say it, but that was the kind of riding I loved. And Rich gave up his preferred leisurely pace so we could skirt the heat. The trip was excellent. We both got some of the style we preferred, and had great times and meals together and hit a lot of new roads.
What make the trip work so well? Both gave some. Neither insisted on his way. Or, to use biblical terms, we obeyed Paul’s command to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).
Isn’t that the secret, not just to good bike rides, but to life? Relationships? Work? Submitting merely means we care about others and will yield on our preferences to benefit the other. We also call that love. The normal Christian life.
Kick Starting the Application
Think of a recent time when you gave up your desires to benefit another. What feeling did it give you? Did it impact the relationship? Now, let’s flip the coin and think of a recent time when you knowingly did not give your desires to benefit another? What result did that bring to you and to the relationship? Realizing we do need to care for our own needs and those of others, how can you find a balance?