When I was five years old my dad bought a boat dock on Norfork Lake in Arkansas and we bought it from the original owner, Roy Fout. We kept the name Fout's Boat Dock because Roy had built up a good clientele and we wanted to keep the identity Roy had created in the. past so we would have a good future. So we moved from Charleston Missouri to the lake and I loved it. Our house was about 75 yards from the lake and in the summer it was a world of adventure for me. As it is in most lakes you can tell you are getting close to the water because you start going down a major hill to reach the lake. We had such a hill coming down to our dock and it was fairly steep and very long and my older brother would put our old truck in neutral and coast down the hill and that totally excited me. In fact, I would beg him every time to do that when he brought me home from school. It was like we were out of control.....but not really. I loved that Free Wheeling way of going down the road and longed for the day my brother would let me control the truck, but I was too young at the time. Enter my creative mind. We had two bicycles and one them was a Spider bike, which was my size and the other was a huge bike my brother rode from time to time. I am pretty sure it was as Schwinn roadmaster and I was totally wanting to ride that bike but I was told I was too short and that was that!!
One day I went off on one of my adventures and got in my mind I was going to go coast down the hill "with the big bike!" So I walked the bike up to the top of the hill and leaned it over so I could get my leg over the middle section and pushed and I was off!!! I got my balance pretty quickly but I could tell I was sitting a lot higher up than on my bike and I couldn't even touch the ground. After gaining a lot of speed I was smiling from ear to ear and loving the free wheeling I felt as I headed down our huge hill. Of course, then gravity really started kicking in along with momentum and I was going way too fast. It was at this moment I realized that the big bike didn't stop like my bike. My bike had brakes that kicked in when you pedaled backwards, but the big bike didn't have that type of brake so I had no control. Faster and faster I went until the speed was causing me to lose control, so I did what I thought was the right thing. I guided that bike off the road to the right and road it out all the way into the lake below. As you can probably assume "I stopped!" The rough ride I had when I went off the road literally threw me off the bike as I was popping up in the air at every bump and thankfully then I hit the water and that probably saved me from a worse result. When my brother ran down to check on me the first words out of his mouth were "You could have killed yourself." To which I shrugged my shoulders and thougtht, "but I didn't.
I realized a few things as I think about it now. Coasting and free wheeling was way overated and the freedom I thought I would feel was short-lived. Also, the gravity forces on the way down overwhelmed my ability to control the ride. Plus, I didn't have a clear understanding of my equipment. (totally normal for me). I had not considered what would happen when I got to the bottom of the hill. Of course, this ride would have made the highlight reel of the greatest fails of the century, had there been a video camera able to record it.
2 Corinthians 5:For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2 We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 3 For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. 4 While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. 5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit. 6 So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. 7 For we live by believing and not by seeing.
When following Jesus there is this desire to step out in faith and serve Jesus almost like Free Wheeling, but we subdue that urge and keep it under control so we don't become crazy fanatics. For me, I long for that coasting experience again and again and even though I know I could crash and burn, I still love the thrill. Per the above scripture God has got us covered, and even though we may not know all there is in Free Wheeling we can trust God to catch us when we fall. The end result at the end of this adventure is a wonderful experience...heaven. But we need to graduate to the "Big Bike." If we only do the easy things there really is no adventure at all and that actually smacks of no faith. When we get older we become more "measured" in what we do and we lose some of that adventure, but we shouldn't!! "The Apostle Paul lived out of the pure truth that "God has this!'" And I love that about him. Paul had faith in the Lord and he was totally enabled to be Free Wheeling!"
Maybe we have all become to "safe" in our faith and we need to be more radical in what we do and trust God for the details. Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
Jesus has set up at the top of the hill with the big bike and He is waiting for us get on that bike and begin to head down that hill and start Free Wheeling and He will guide us on our adventure. Just remember to keep your eyes on Jesus cause he knows how to control the big bike and has already run this hill before and He knows the way. The end is not a lake to fall into but a glorious home in glory.
The Pilgrimage Continues......