I tried to memorize him before he left and again when he returned. After a weekend of zooming down country roads on a rented motorcycle, John came home refreshed. We sat in the white rocking chairs on the back patio, and he told me stories about his trip . . . one fairly close call, two older men who’d approached him separately to chat about their riding days, and one profound sermon. A sermon?!!! He’d listened to it through earphones while riding!
The sermon was on marriage, and he stepped off that rumbly machine with a renewed interest in spending time together. I don’t like motorcycling. He doesn’t like gardening. I don’t hunt. He doesn’t read and write children’s books. What binds us is our love! We can’t explain it. Certainly no dating site would have ever made us a match, but he is my home and my adventure. And I am his.
Each night since his inaugural motorcycling trip, we’ve taken turns deciding what to do together after we’ve tucked in our boys. So far, we’ve read poetry out loud (my pick!). I’ve sung along to his electric guitar (his pick!). We’ve watched an old Nicholas Cage movie, sat under the stars and talked, and curled up and read together.
A lot of good has come from that motorcycling trip I didn’t want him to take. I wanted to keep him home safe because I love him. Then again, he had to go—because I love him. I’m beginning to understand something that seems new and strange to me: riding is part of John’s calling.
But aren’t Christians supposed to be called to teach, to volunteer, to lead small groups, to go to Africa?!!! Yes, many are. Since our God is infinitely creative, surely there are myriads of imaginative callings for all His unique children. God showed his glory through Eric Liddell’s running, through King David’s love of music, through C.S. Lewis’s writing. . . . My husband has been fascinated by motors since he was a toddler. In fact, motor was his first word! He has often questioned why.
When he first rode our elderly neighbor’s bike, he said it made him feel closer to God! After we prayed about whether the risks of riding were too great and received the answer in Psalm 139, John was able to share his faith more freely than ever through the topic of motorcycling. “I trust God with my life. All the days ordained for me were written in His book before one of them came to be.”
I tried to put all that evidence out of my mind! Noooooooo, my heart screamed, I will save him from certain death!!!
How silly I’ve been . . . Super Hero to the rescue, using the power of obstinacy! How could I protect him? I might be busy glaring at motorcycles while a tornado looms overhead. Real tragedies surprise us. They are often the one thing we’d never thought to worry about.
This verse has been on my mind lately: Perfect love drives out fear. I John 4:18
I can no longer deny that somehow, for some reason beyond my human understanding, motorcycling does draw my husband closer to God. That, in turn, makes him a better man. I’ve nicknamed John the “Motorcycle Missionary.” Next time he takes a ride, that moniker will remind me that mission fields are always dangerous, but Jesus is with him down every twisty road and long stretch of highway.