Tag Archives: motorcycles

Damsel in Distress

Standard

Arthur

60 degrees Fahrenheit in New York State at the beginning of March. Not normal. Needless to say, the warm weather draws out bikers. I passed three motorcycles on my lunch break yesterday. I returned to work only to watch and hear more motorcyclists drive by my window. By the time I finished my workday, I was beginning to feel desperate. I missed Arthur terribly.

Unfortunately, Arthur sat in my parents’ garage a half hour away, deep in hibernation. With his seat taken off and laid aside, his battery hooked up to a tender, and his engine loosely draped with a sheet, Arthur was prepared to rest for another few months. Although some salt lingers on the roads and another snowfall is likely before spring commences, I could not resist the urge to wake my motorcycle from his slumber.

I drove to my parents’ house and aroused my sleeping motorcycle.

After piecing him back together, I hopped on and headed for the nearest gas station to fill his depleted tires. I filled his front tire without a problem. Then I went for the back. Suddenly I remembered this episode from last year. His back tire’s spokes are too close together. The hose on the air pump does not fit easily. After struggling for about ten minutes I called my dad and asked for his help.

While talking with him on my cell phone, two young men approached me. They started with friendly conversation, asking about the size of the bike and such. Seeing the frustration on my face, they proceeded to ask what my trouble was. I pointed toward the back tire and whined that I could not attach the hose to fill it.

They stepped toward the bike and squatted to make their own attempts. I called my dad to tell him I did not need him anymore; Others offered me help. I smiled, satisfied that they also struggled to hook up the air hose to the tire. That assured me that the process really is difficult. It’s not just my own ineptness. After about five minutes of pulling and adjusting, they told me to put the quarters in the machine and the air began to pump.

As they worked on my tire, they told me stories of their own motorcycling experiences. I smiled half-heartedly as they described past accidents and wicked injuries. Nonetheless, their love for the hobby remained.

I thanked them once they finished, and they began to chat further. They had already mentioned how rare it is to see a girl with a motorcycle. Now they emphasized that they really came over to help because I was cute. I almost stopped them to inquire if they would have helped me even if they were not attracted to me. But I decided to let the comment slide. I didn’t want to attack their honor when they had just done me a favor.

The more talkative of the two declared, “It’s always nice to help a damsel in distress.”

Just like the cute comment, I almost interrupted him to argue. Instead I paused and considered how much easier these guys had made my task. I know that eventually I would have gotten that hose hooked up to Arthur’s back tire. But I also know that it would have taken a lot more time and effort than I wanted to give.

I smiled back at them both and replied, “It’s always nice to find help when you are a damsel in distress.”

A few moments later we said our goodbyes and I hopped on my bike. As I journeyed home, I couldn’t help but appreciate how fun it is to be a girl.

If I were a guy struggling in the same situation, I highly doubt they would have sauntered over to lend a hand. Although the whole situation seemed rather minor, I felt as if that scene reflected God’s natural plan for men to act toward women. They sacrificed their time and energy to take care of me in my moment of need.

So now I am issuing the appropriate biblical response. I want to honor these guys. I started by fighting the urge to argue with them or accuse them. Ultimately, I want to honor every man who gives something up to protect or provide for a woman.

Girls, listen to me! Fight your selfish pride. Fight your ungrateful attitude. Train yourself to treat men with respect and to recognize their noble deeds – no matter how small or insignificant those deeds seem.  Just by being kind, we can encourage healthy interactions with men.

Deep down inside, every damsel in distress wants to be rescued and every man wants to be a hero. It’s not such a bad thing.

Advertisements

For the Love of a Motorcycle

Standard

http://youtu.be/OJDCtFMV16s

There is something about it. Wind in your face. Sunshine on your back and shoulders. Power at your fingertips. Someone who doesn’t ride cannot possibly understand. There is nothing quite like the love of a motorcycle.

My bike is named Arthur, after the Fonz whom I idolized as a teenager. I shared this clip (unfortunately it’s kind of fuzzy) because Fonzie demonstrates the love and devotion a true biker has to his/her bike so wondrously.

Fellow bikers, have you ever tried to describe the loyal affection you feel toward your motorcycle to a person who shows no interest in the hobby? It’s one thing to describe the relationship you have with your bike to an aspiring biker or to another motorcycle enthusiast… But to pour your heart and soul out to a person who thinks that riding motorcycle is foolish? Perhaps this person briefly considered the sport, but waved away the fleeting desire due to its potential dangers. The response you receive may be devastating. This person looks you in the eye and declares that your love is silly. That the motorcycle which contributes such joy to your life is nothing more than a hunk of machinery which will probably get you killed.

I have learned not to describe my love for Arthur with such critics. I do not blame them for their insensitivity. The reason Mr. Cunningham has the nerve to refer to Fonzie’s love as “just a motorcycle” is because he cannot possibly comprehend the impact that beautiful bike has upon Fonzie’s satisfaction with life. Rather than try to convince these people of my motorcycle’s true worth, I choose instead to share my own joy and leave it at that. If a person shows interest in joining me in my hobby, I offer more information. But I will not cast my pearl before swine – I will not push my love for motorcycles on a person who has little or no interest.

If I were to try to force a love for motorcycles and in interest in biking etiquette upon such a person, we would both walk away from the conversation feeling frustrated and perhaps embittered. I do not even try. I understand the futility. This person may never share my reasoning, nor may s/he care to. That is okay. It is perfectly acceptable for this person to have different life interests.

How does all of this tie into singleness? Marrieds often come to me describing a passion toward marriage which correlates my passion toward motorcycles. They tell me how much they enjoy being married, how they always looked forward to being married when they were young, how they love raising children, and how they will leave a legacy through their children. They gloat over every detail of their married relationship, hoping to persuade me to ditch singleness and enter wedded bliss.

Unfortunately, my interest is limited. I cannot say I’ve never considered marriage, nor can I say that I will never get married. However, currently I am not terribly interested. In the same way a person tells me that motorcycles can be extremely dangerous, I note that marriage can be very painful and can inhibit many freedoms. It just doesn’t call to me. The desire to be married is fleeting at best right now. Conversations in which others try to force their love of wedded bliss upon me leave me frustrated. I am disgusted by these persons’ lack of understanding that my interests differ from their own. Rather than nudge me toward desire, these discussions leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

If you want to see me marry, do me a favor. Don’t offer your input about my life and marriage possibilities unless I ask for it. Otherwise, you work against your own motives.

A Coffee Encounter

Standard

“I do not believe a person needs to attend church in order to go to heaven.”

I looked him in the eyes, evenly. “I don’t either.”

His face became puzzled. “Then why do you want me to go?”

I had explained to this man earlier that I wanted him to go to church because I believe in Heaven and in Hell. I told him that I could not force God upon him, but that I at least wanted to be sure he knew more about Jesus Christ because it makes me sick to envision him in Hell someday. Oh yeah, and I did not want to be the one to teach him about Christ. Hence, the invitation to church.

“I believe that you need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in order to go to Heaven. I want you to come to church so that someone other than me can teach you about Jesus. I did not want to talk to you about Jesus because you like me.” I slowly poured forth my reasoning.

His eyes twinkled, but he still looked slightly puzzled. “What makes you think I like you?”

I fixated a “You’ve got to be kidding me!” expression onto my face and crossed my arms. He started to grin and then reiterated, “What have I done to make you think I like you?”

Several obvious signals stood out in my memory. I made a quick reference to something he had done earlier that day and then challenged, “Tell me you don’t like me!”

“I can’t,” he conceded. Then he smiled shyly and looked away for a second. When he met my gaze again his eyes were still twinkling.

After that issue cleared up I returned to my initial point. “Sometimes a man who likes me will tell me whatever he thinks I want to hear. I did not want to tell you about Jesus because I did not want you to make a decision based on your feelings toward me.”

My latte vanished within the first fifteen minutes of our conversation. But we sat and talked for over an hour. Our discussion ranged from church and salvation, to drinking and smoking, to hunting and motorcycles, to marriage and past experiences, to why bad things happen if God is merciful, and back to a relationship with Jesus Christ. I’m sure I’ve skipped a few things as well.  All in all, I enjoyed the time spent together immensely.

Which leads to my next dilemma. What do I do in the future? Now that I have shared the gospel with this man, Operation Flirt to Convert is complete. He knows all that he needs to know in order to make a decision. If I move further I will cross the line into Missionary Dating. I kind of wish that I had hated the entire Coffee Encounter. But I didn’t. I loved every minute of our friendly debate and humorous banter. The more serious aspects of our conversation also intrigued me. His point of view, even where it differed from mine, was very interesting. I almost hoped he would make me angry or disgust me. Then I would not have to contemplate a next step. I would simply walk away.

As it stands, I’m not sure how to proceed. He assures me that he will come to my church sometime under the condition that I sit with him. He does not want to sit alone like an outcast in an unfamiliar place. I understand that. Unfortunately, now that he knows about Jesus, I do not feel such a strong desire for him to attend my church. Now that the Good News has reached him, I worry about the trivial things that escaped my imagination previously.

Suddenly I am extremely aware of how potentially awkward I may feel while I introduce this man, whom I have no clear relationship with, to the other attendees at my small church. He is not my boyfriend, not my husband, not my brother, cousin, uncle, or any other kind of kin. He is not a friend visiting from out of town. He is not close friends with someone that I know. In all reality he is a random stranger whom I’ve met a handful of times and have no reason to still be connected to – except because he likes me and I want him to meet Jesus.

Sitting across from a table, sipping coffee wasn’t so bad. Sitting beside him in a pew sounds terrifying. What will I do if he slides his arm behind me across the back of the pew? Exactly how close must we sit together? Does “Bible’s width apart” apply? If so, where might I find a bigger Bible? Instead, might I be able to borrow one of my pastor’s kids to sit between us? Or will that cause us to look like a family?

GAAAHHHHHHH!!! When did this all become so complicated? Note to self: Cats are so much easier than men. Let’s skip Flirt to Convert next time the opportunity arises.