I nervously saddled up for my first ride on my Suzuki DR650SE dual sport motorcycle. My husband’s backup plan―if the motorcycle riding isn’t my thing―will be an economical commuter for him. My twelve year-old also assures me that he can ride it if I crash.
Now that’s comforting!
After riding behind Eric, (my husband), down a nearby canyon dirt road, and maneuvering through a herd of cattle, we stopped at an empty lot for my first lesson.
“Remember, clutch first,” he said.
“And which side is the clutch on?”
“Left,” he pointed a second time. “Your brake is on the right . . . . Remember driving a stick shift car? It’s the same, only your clutch is here.”
I haven’t driven a stick shift in 15 years! Maybe we should just go to McDonald’s and enjoy a romantic moment―without kids―over a strawberry smoothie. The thought was tempting, but my boys were wagering on my resolve.
Eric, however, remained calm. “Gradually twist the throttle and release the clutch. Let the bike balance you. Don’t put your feet down until you come to a complete stop or they will drag behind you. Start in first. It’s the only gear you push down.”
“Which side are the gears on?”
“Left . . . . The right foot controls the rear brake. But when you brake, do it together with your right hand, which controls the front. And, you’ll need to brake while clutching when the engine begins to lug.”
Uhg, so many rules! But he certainly had my attention. He really believes I can drive this. I swing my leg over the seat. This is a lot bigger than my old mini bike! . . . . Clutch first. Replaying his instructions in my mind, I went through the motions step by step. And . . . .
Well, I cruised slowly in first gear anyway, but I didn’t crash―thanks to Eric and his patient instructions. Like a child graduating from training wheels, I progressed to third gear. Okay, I admit that I killed the engine a couple of times. But the freedom of riding motivates me to learn this new skill.
Sorry boys, I may not be motocross material, but I’m not ready to hand over the bike!
Rules. Most of us chafe under directives, including Yours Truly. Why? They appear to constrict our freedom. But I’m grateful for Eric’s driving instructions. He saved me from kissing the pavement.
Similarly, God desires our safety in our daily journey. His directives are laid on a foundation of love, fairness, and compassion. Although it takes time, discipline, and hard work, consistently reading the Bible unwraps God’s truth, wisdom, and map for our earthly journey.
Although God’s holy standards reveal our sin, because we have all failed to keep his laws perfectly (Matthew 5:48), when we seek God’s salvation and forgiveness in Christ, we have freedom from sin and oppressive guilt. I am so thankful for Christ’s provision on the cross. We no longer live under the old covenant period, which was a shadow of the real Christ (Hebrews 8).
God knows what’s best for us. He knows we can only follow and obey Him through the indwelling power of His Holy Spirit (Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 1:19-20). Obeying God’s precepts frees us to be all He designed us to be. His guidelines make a way for us to participate in His holiness and avoid paths that lead to destruction (Deuteronomy 8:10-20; 11:26-27). If that’s not enough, our obedience to Him stores up treasure in heaven (Luke 12:33).
Interestingly, Psalm 119 is the longest psalm and chapter in the Bible. We are repetitively instructed to meditate on God’s Word. God’s promise to “preserve life” is alluded to 11 times in this chapter. No wonder the psalmist writes of rejoicing in God’s statutes: “as one rejoices in great riches” (vs. 14).
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
– Jesus (Matthew 24:25)
The following are a few links for a more in-depth study of God’s laws:
I found the following video both funny and inspiring: