Thursday, July 4, 2013

Live to Ride, Ride to Live

My friend, Jason, and I were recently on a two-day motorbike ride in Florida. When we woke up on beautiful Cedar Key, we decided to get an early start before the storms had a chance to build. As we left the comforts of the island behind us and rode over the bridge, it became obvious we were in for a wet, and at times, scary ride. I grabbed my phone and took this picture as I crossed the bayou. As you can see, we were heading straight into the dark and ominous veil of storm clouds ahead of us.

It wasn’t until I uploaded the picture that I saw the reflection in the mirror of the bright blue skies behind me. The image captures a cool moment of contrast where we are leaving the comfort and safety of a clear day to enter the dangerous wet roads ahead in order to reach our destination.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

I think many of us live looking longingly in the mirror of life. That is, life does not stop or slow down. We desire to go back to the “good ole days” when things were “simpler”. Some people reading this have storms in the mirror and only see darker super storms in their future.
Before the ride

Regardless of what’s in our mirror, we cannot be glued to what’s being reflected because that is only a memory while the reality of actual clouds, hard times, good times, and unknown twists and turns are rapidly coming at us. Glancing at the mirror is normal and healthy; staring at it will inevitably cause us to crash.

Our future is coming, we can’t stop it, but we can and should live in the knowledge that what is in the mirror is there to stay and how we respond to the coming moments is what determines what’s in our mirror tomorrow.

We had to punch through the dangerous rain to get home. What will you do with today? Will you continue to long for the images of your past? Will you continue to lament about the destructive storms in your mirror? Or will you choose to believe in the words of Christ and live knowing He has overcome the worries of today and will lead you through the storms of tomorrow?

“They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22

God assured us that life would be difficult. He asks us to remain focused through the complexities knowing that we must travel this road to get to the One we love.

This life will take us down; its meandering whiplash turns are daunting, demoralizing, and deadly. In the end, it is our foundation and focus that either gets us through or pulverizes our will to drive into the foreboding unknown. For Jason and me on that ride, it turns out, we barely got wet. The storms broke up before we got there and all we got was some sprinkles. I wonder what hurricanes, tornadoes, and super cells God will diminish, remove, or carry you through.

“We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” 2 Cor. 4:9

What the clouds turned out to be

Get on your bike, glance at what’s behind you, and ride into the wind knowing no matter how bleak it looks, God never abandons you if you have put your faith in the blood of Jesus Christ.