Bikes

The first bike I really remember was a gold banana bike.  If you know what I mean, then we are of the same generation.  If not, look it up.  It was the cool bike of my generation when they were the rage.

Next was a blue and green Schwinn single speed with a coaster brake.  I turned the handlebars upside down so it was sleeker – and I thought – faster.  Next was a Montgomery Ward white ten-speed.  I was the first in my neighborhood with something like it.  And while I was a little ridiculed, all the kids had them within months.

Those bikes of my youth gave me the freedom I wanted.  To go places that were slightly off limits, but not so far out of bounds that I couldn’t recover and be back home before trouble had time to brew.

In my early twenties I had a Shogun 300, all back.  It carried me everywhere around Boston, regardless of the time of day or time of year.  In my late twenties and early thirties, I had a few other bikes, but nothing that was really memorable, especially because career and family were distractions away from riding.

Then in my early forties, I got an inkling of something I loved. Of something that I really used to enjoy.  A friend re-introduced me to the then big sport of road cycling, and after I bought my first bike, I was instantly hooked.  A few years passed, and I knew that I wanted something special in a bike.  And after months of research, posting, talking and thinking, I bought what I call “blue lighting.”  A steel frame, made-especially-for-me, one of a kind, human powered machine.

And that’s how faith works for me.  I remember those important faith events – like beloved bikes – and they remind me who I am in Christ, and when I reach back to the basics of my faith, I make sense of everyday life.  I remember the moment I realized I had accepted Christ, the time I was baptized, the time I told a few people at work – whom I had known for a long time – that I was a Christian.

“May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation” Philippians 1:11.  When I remember key faith events, I remember the fruits of my salvation.  I see the pattern and the joy of my bikes, maturing over the decades, just like faith.  I remember that God is changing me, that God has entirely forgiven me, and that Jesus is my Lord and Savior.  The ever-growing pattern of my deepening commitment is clear. That is my faith ride.