Recently, I purchased a motorcycle. I took a riding safety course, learned the rules of the road concerning my new “ride,” and ventured into traffic with nothing to protect me but a helmet and the gear on my person. There are no airbags for motorcycles.
All has gone well, for the most part. I have been narrowly missed on more than one occasion, but had seen them coming and adjusted my driving to compensate for them and their lack of paying attention to their surroundings. I still get to motor along, enjoying my ride, though I remain wary of cars and trucks because I have seen many people doing everything except driving properly and safely. There are a lot of good drivers, but I still worry about them, too; because, if they don’t see me, I’m still at risk.
Seems that the only drivers who always notice bikers are the bikers themselves. I’ve found it very encouraging that as I am heading down the road, whenever I see a biker heading toward me, they reach down a hand and give the universal peace sign to me. I have learned very quickly to return it because of what it means. What it means is, “I see you, brother.”
It’s become a comfort to know that we all understand one another due to the risk we take which is beyond normal driving. But it means so much more. On the bike, I can’t hear a doggone thing over the engine and the wind. There is not interaction with a potential passenger, aside from a tap on the shoulder or really loud yelling. But, most days, it’s only me anyway, so there is only the sound of the road. It is a sense of interaction beyond our own ride. It is saying, “welcome to this brotherhood. You are not alone.”
Now, I know what you may be thinking, with the Hell’s Angels, and the Diablos, and whatever other bike gang there exists. There are gang memberships and certain interactions that I hope to never be a part of. But, what I am talking about transcends all of that. This occurs with anyone on any bike, from the cruisers to the rice burners. I’ve even noticed a couple of guys on scooters have picked up on it. Which leads me to something that happened the other night which really got me to thinking.
There was a car crash. It involved one car, which had the right of way with a green light, and another car, which had run his red light, that t-boned him. Everyone was okay, praise God, but I want to talk about the guy that witnessed the whole thing. He was a biker behind the guy who got hit.
This guy saw the light runner coming. He noticed in his peripheral vision that the runner was not slowing down, and so the biker slowed down himself in anticipation of what could happen, only to watch it happen to the car in front of him. He was the first to run to the aid of the men involved. He avoided a crash himself because he saw it coming. He was paying attention to his surroundings.
That was not the first time such has happened. When I owned my mustang, I was t-boned the very same way, and two bikers behind me saw the whole thing, having slowed down and then came to me to see if I was okay, and chased after the hit and run driver to get the plate number. I didn’t see that car until a split second before I got hit. My mentality was totally different than it is now. I was in my own little world, my own car.
As I contemplate all of these things, these new changes in my life, I am reminded of when I first got saved. You see, I had heard of Jesus, was raised Catholic, and thought I was living this life like I should. I had heard the rules, but just like driving, I took them as mere suggestions. My life was my own and I lived it on my own terms. I drove the same way.
I sped everywhere. I had no care for other drivers and their cars. It was my road. Pedestrians almost didn’t even exist, unless, God forbid, they were already on my road and in my way. Motorcycles? If I heard one, I might look around to see where it was, but usually my music in my world was entirely too loud. I barely heard emergency sirens.
That is how so many people drive. They have a false sense of security inside their shells, in their own worlds, where the road is theirs. They have an overly inflated understanding of their own skills as though no one was a better driver than they. They drive on their own terms.
So it is also in the spirit world. Oh yes, there is a spirit world. Most people walk through this life completely unaware of this truth. Like driving, they have heard of the spirit world, but they do not live their lives like it exists. They are in their shells, in their own world, oblivious to anyone else unless they care about them. Everyone else is just a spectator to their life.
Enter the Christians. These are the bikers of the world. They are aware of all of the inherent dangers of this world, and they drive accordingly. They pay attention to their surroundings. They see one another as brethren, and they acknowledge one another. They stick to the rules, knowing that they are there for good reason, and all the while, they are alert to others breaking those rules and causing danger around them. Don’t get me wrong. There are Christians who act like they are in gangs, too. Those are the bad examples, the ones who draw the negative attention of the other drivers because there are fifty of them forcing their way down the freeway, blocking all other lanes of traffic, acting like the unsaved, causing trouble of their own. Yes, those Christians exist.
Yet, for the most part, there are those Christians who are looking out for others. They live safely, courteously, with the power of God. They are a part of this world, the traffic, yet they are separate from it. They live outside of the constraints of cars, living in freedom, seeing everyone else around them as just as important as they.
I know this is a stretch, but it’s something I have been meditating on. God didn’t create us so that we could isolate ourselves from one another. He created us in His image, so that we might bring glory to Him in our interactions with one another. We must stop living our lives in isolation. Get out of the car. Take a walk and interact with each other. Take the bus and see humanity. Try to move outside of those shells in traffic. Get a motorcycle.