He says riding feels like flying. Wearing that ball cap, grinning, he looks like he did when we fell in love at 19.
Strangely, I can’t recall a single motorcycle on the illustrated pages of a picture book. Ralph, riding a toy one in the middle-grade novel The Mouse and the Motorcycle is little comfort. Ah well. Motorcycles aren’t prevalent in the children’s book world, but, incongruously, one has appeared in mine.
It all started when I agreed for my hubby to take a two-day motorcycle riding class. He seemed so excited, and he had to take the time off work because his vacation days wouldn’t roll over to the new business year. It rained the duration of his class, but I hardly worried . . . really! I thought he would get it out of his system or, at the most, rent a motorcycle only during rural vacations.
Then, our 85-year-old neighbor loaned my husband his bike for one afternoon. I prayed and, again, kept worrying to the minimum. But when my husband tried to return it, our sweet neighbor called him “family” and said he could keep it for three days!
I felt like the mother in the movie A Christmas Story, when her husband receives the leg lamp. Yikes! How can I get this thing out of my life?!!! “Um . . . don’t you think our neighbor was just being nice?”
“Honey, shouldn’t you surprise him and return the bike early?” (The bike remained in our possession for the duration of the three days.)
During my husband’s first night ride, incessant sirens flowed through the windowpanes, and I absorbed the anxiety. I couldn’t bear to look at my phone, for fear of bad news. “So somehow not looking was going to change the outcome?” my husband teased when he returned, invigorated, and a bit confused as to why I didn’t get the reassuring texts he’d pulled over to write.
Even my hubby isn’t certain that purchasing his own motorcycle is the right choice. He asked that we both pray about it until the end of the month. I began praying, and Psalm 139 came into my life not once, but three times—from three different sources—in one day. I can’t deny that Jesus was speaking to me:
“. . . [A]ll the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16 My husband’s life is in God’s hands.
Lately, as I inch ever closer to my 39th birthday, I’ve been wanting to slow life down. If 40 is mid-life, then life just isn’t long enough! As the Bible says in Psalm 144, my life has been “like a breath.” Listening to those sirens that night, I realized with an ache in my heart how desperately long life would suddenly become if I had to wait until heaven to see my beloved again.
I want so badly to protect him. (Of course I can’t . . . not really.) If I tried, what kind of life would that be for this “lover of risk” I married? Last night, after reading me statistics about motorcycle crashes (which he found encouraging and I found intolerable), my husband gave an inspirational speech:
“God doesn’t want us to sit around in the safety of our houses doubting His sovereignty. Look at the world He’s created! He wants us to delight in it! He doesn’t want us to miss swimming in the ocean, for fear of sharks; to miss climbing mountains, for fear of falling; to miss road trips, for fear of accidents!” (Or to miss the rush of wind and adrenaline while gripping the handlebars of a motorcycle on an open road!)
What is a wife to do?