Ephesians 3:19, ESV: “and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Filled with the fullness is one of the most beautiful sights I have witnessed.
This last weekend was a game changer for me:
Archie and I had a dream/actual plans that we were pursuing to purchase a three wheel motorcycle and travel. Taylor was a senior in college, we had a five year (actually much less) plan to pay off the house and then there would be the freedom to hit the road, or so we thought. Obviously, that plan never came to fruition.
Two and a half years since he’s gone home and I continue to sort out the “him/us/me” feelings, interests and drives.
This one was a tough one as I wasn’t sure how to even begin the sorting process. We both loved to travel (that part was easy), he used to ride a motorcycle as a teenager and enjoyed it, motorcycles are easy on gas and we both loved the thought of soaring through wind into adventure. Did that dream die with him?
I needed to figure this dream thing out so I thought I’d start at the beginning: a motorcycle license. Friday night I began my 2.5 day motorcycle class. The beginning of the class found me on the second floor of an impressive Harley Shop, well off the beaten path. We went around, introduced ourselves and were to tell the reason we wanted to ride. They weren’t quite expecting the,”My hubby/best friend went home and we were going to travel by motorcycle. I’m not sure if this was ‘our dream’ or if it can still be ‘my dream’ so I’m here to figure it out.” I felt a little guilty as it may have been a bit of a downer when you have teenage boys who are there to throw caution into the wind!!!!…and the widow lady. Maybe we balanced each other out? It’s a thought.
Friday night through Saturday morning we studied our manual, did group discussions, watched slides, finally taking our written test. Through out the class they stressed to be aware of our surroundings, do not ride if it doesn’t have your full attention: if your sad, depressed, or even too happy (he referenced an anticipated date with “Angie” to the boys). He said if your head/attention is not fully on riding, you shouldn’t be on the bike.
We learned about wind whipping off patches of woods and semi trailers, along with their blind spots. The danger of deer is far greater on two wheels than four. When we would take breaks the experienced riders would share (we had two dads that had 30 years experience but were taking the class with their sons) and I would hear of the maintenance cost of the bike, what happens when traveling and being caught in rain. I listened, taking it all in. Finally it was test time. Everyone in the class passed and it was time to ride.
Except for a short ride on a mini bike, one ride to work from an uncle, and a ride with my mom on a little blue motorcycle when I was eight (the handle bar broke and we wiped out, thankfully at a slow speed) I had no experience. This was going to be interesting, even starting it using “FINE-C.”
For three hours, give or take, we started, stopped, tried (well, I did, everyone else just did) to stay within the cones while turning 5-8 times each exercise. I was stinking it up pretty good until just before the next exercise. It was excruciatingly hot and during breaks all of the fellas (yes, I was the only gal) and I were gulping down water as if we were in the Sierra Desert. It felt like it in long sleeves, jeans, boots over the ankles, leather gloves and helmets.
I am a determined person and was frustrated but not upset (weird) that I wasn’t nailing it. Three o’clock came, cones came out and were staged. In that moment I knew.
I walked up to one of my instructors, put my arm over his shoulder to the side and said,” This is not fun. I do not have the skill for this next exercise though I could with additional practice. I have found that I am not enjoying this.” This was a no fail class so if we did not succeed during class they would work one-on-one until we passed, great idea, right?
I came to realize my part of the dream was not having to be aware and defensive of wind, cars, semis, road conditions, bike maintenance, deer, weather, or the thoughts going through my head. My dream was snuggling into the back of the man I loved and watching the world speed by from the back of the vehicle he dreamt of owning and driving, feeling safe, protected, and free. To me, there was no freedom in the defensive stance necessary to be the driver of the two wheeled vehicle. I had my answer. One more piece of the puzzle as to who “Tracy” is: Not a motorcyclist-at least not the driver. I went home.
I have been a 4:30 am person for a good month now, not that I want to be. My internal clock rings and though my eyes and body beg for additional rest, for my mind “The race is on!” This being the case, Sunday morning came and I was shocked my “clock” did not go off and the fury kids woke me at 6:30 am to go out. I was dragging so decided to rest my eyes just a bit longer as first service wasn’t for an hour and a half and that was plenty of time. A few minutes later (or so I thought) I got up to figure out what I was wearing to church. Do-de-do-de-do, then to my phone to check the time: 10:30!!!! What?!?!?!? Quickest shower and dog walking EVER and I walked into the church at 11:00.
The service was on saying “Yes!” to Heavenly Dad when He leads, even when it’s difficult, it’s dangerous, and we don’t understand how He would use it. His example was a missionary who led a man to the Lord in an ISIS area. A couple of weeks later the man wanted to be baptised in his own home, inviting neighbors and friends. The missionary told the man it was not a good idea, it was too dangerous. The man proceeded to say,”I must have more faith than you.” OUCH! He then asked if he could baptize himself. The missionary relented and went to the man’s house where not only he was baptized, but his wife as well, proclaiming the love and forgiveness of Heavenly Dad. Three weeks later his throat was cut.
The missionary went back to the area later. In a very short period of time over twenty churches were going strong because they saw the love and forgiveness radiating out of that man and they knew they had to have it. Though it made no sense at the time, Heavenly Dad used it for His good, as that man didn’t really die, he celebrated his birth into heaven.
The most meaningful part of this service was when he described the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. I’m really slow because for some reason I had forgotten it was the last wall standing for HD’s temple. Anyway, the speaker showed a video with the Jewish men rocking back and forth and stepping forward and back. He said he was always curious as to why they did that so he tucked ego and pride aside and asked. The men explained that they were like a flame, moving and swaying, excitedly anticipating the Messiah. The speaker asked us: “How is our wait? Are we moving and swaying with excitement UNABLE to stand still with anticipation, which like the man in the ISIS area, would spill onto everyone around us?”
In the pew in front of me was a family of five. When the special speaker questioned our wait, almost on cue the 10 year old boy and 8 year old girl began imitating the men by the Wailing Walls, leaning back and forth, stepping forward and back. Pure love. During the service these children hadn’t been on their phones, playing games or doodling but being challenged just like us geezers. The only visible difference seemed the freedom of not caring who judged how the Lord led them or being seen openly worshiping. As with the service message, THEY SAID “YES!!!” and were filled with the fullness of God/Heavenly Dad.
Tears we’re running down my cheeks with their sincerity and innocence.
Had I “muscled” my way through the class to prove to my self or anyone else that I could learn to ride, denying what was revealed, I would have missed that incredible blessing.
Self evaluation time: am I holding onto anything else because I feel like I have to honor an old dream or to prove I can, in turn missing the blessing Heavenly Dad has for me? Time to pray about it.
Until next time: Blessings!