This is me … about to go for my first ever motorbike ride, riding pillion on the back of my next door neighbour’s (who is also becoming a good friend, and is a top bloke to boot) Harley Davidson. My husband borrowed another bike and came along with us for the ride.
To say I was a leetle bit nervous was an understatement – although it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while. It didn’t help that my husband, who is an experienced if slightly rusty motorbike rider, warned me beforehand to ‘go with’ Alex as he went round the bends, rather than trying to compensate for the bend by leaning my body in the opposite direction!
Thankfully, none of the sharp bends came up too quickly – either that or Alex was kind and broke me into the whole experience gently. He had told me I could hold onto his shoulders or waist if I needed to – but preferably not his neck. I started out doing just this (not holding the neck but the waist!) and concentrating. Concentrating hard. But I found that surprisingly quickly, the whole movement thing became instinctive. Looking ahead at the direction we were going, I could see some of the bends and was looking just over his shoulder, so my body naturally leant that way too.
But sometimes I couldn’t see what was ahead, so I had to just commit, let go, go with the flow, lean into the bend. And for someone who likes to be in control (I didn’t particularly enjoy indoor skydiving for that very reason), that’s not particularly easy. But the more I did it, the easier it became until I was able to relax completely and enjoy the sensation of wind rushing past, the beautiful countryside in which I am blessed to find myself, and even smile when I saw signs somewhat like this one approaching…
And I thought to myself … there’s a blog-post in that!
It helped that I trust Alex implicitly … he’s been there, done that and probably got a whole wardrobe full of the t-shirts to prove it. He and a friend recently biked all the way from Silverstone (where we live) to the Arctic Circle, to fundraise for the charity, Love Russia, that until recently he headed (raising money in particular for the Genesis Project which seeks to support young people as they come out of orphanages and make their way in the world.) For details of some of the fantastic work that this charity does with disadvantaged people in Russia, see their website www.loverussia.org or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LRCharity?directed_target_id=0
But my faith in Alex pales into insignificance compared with the faith I profess in God. Sometimes I can see the path ahead in my life (although not very far down the road, and there may be the odd unexpected bump here and there – and believe me, comfy as the ride was, I felt them!) but often, I cannot see round the next bend. It’s on these occasions that I need to put my trust in God completely. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11 v 1.)
It’s when I fight this, struggle against what God is doing in my life, that things go wrong. I may think I know best, I may think that God really can’t be serious if He expects me to [ ……..] and that He must mean [………..] (insert as applicable) instead! If I can learn to REALLY trust God, – whose strength and providence I have ample proof of in the world of Creation, other’s testimonies and in my own life – I will be able to fully experience the life I am living, have “life in abundance” (John 10 v 10, Geneva Bible), rather than wasting my time worrying and fretting, which does no-one any good. As Jesus said in Luke 12: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (verses 25-26.)
I am encouraged in this by the story of the boy healed from an evil spirit. When Jesus told boy’s father, “Everything is possible for one who believes,” his father immediately exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9, v 23-24.) My faith is not always implicit, sometimes it has to be worked on (quite a lot of the time it has to be worked on, if I’m honest.) But God can grow faith as small as a mustard seed; He does not wait until it is the size of a mountain! And maybe, like any muscle (real or metaphorical), faith is something that grows stronger the more it’s used?
A few times on my bike ride today I had to remind myself again to not tense up – to relax into the movement. Sometimes I have to do the same with God – remind myself of his goodness and faithfulness (reading the Old Testament is fantastic for this – the stories of God’s goodness and provision for his people, the Psalms of thanksgiving and praise for what He has done), put my trust in Him anew … and lean into the bend.
Whatever your life has in store, God bless you on the road ahead!
(Bible verses, unless stated, come from the New International Version)
(Picture credits: Pics 1 and 4 – my own, Pic 2: http://www.geograph.ie/photo/1997123, Pic 3: https://www.facebook.com/LRCharity?directed_target_id=0)