The Motorcycle Club

I am re-posting one of my earlier contributions….

As anyone can probably tell from my pictures, my husband belongs to a well-known motorcycle club. I don’t write much about this in my posts because frankly, I don’t think about it much. But, it is probably worth a minute to clarify where this culture and my Christian beliefs come together.

I once had a proclaimed Christian tell me that because I was part of this 1% culture, she could not in good conscience hang out with me anymore. This “Christian” opinion always angers me to no end. And I always refer back to Matthew 9:10-13.

“Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, ‘ Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?’ But when Jesus heard this, He said, ‘ It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: “I desire compassion, and not sacrifice”, for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'”

I was understandably nervous when my husband first began to associate with what the world would consider “undesirables”, but as I got to know each of these people, I had a powerful compassion on them. I also had to put aside preconceived opinions that I’d gathered from television, internet, and books. I had to open my mind up to the possibility that I had ended up here for a reason, and Jesus thought that His work was more important than what the Christian community around here thought.

As with any large group of people, there are going to be the good, the bad, and the ugly. But, just from the ones I know on a personal basis, I see that God hasn’t written off these men and women. Evidently, God isn’t bound by our social standards, and I have come to feel that He has put my husband and I here for a purpose.

Where in the Bible does Jesus say we are to only associate with those who already know Him? What purpose would that serve? If you insulate your whole existence away from those who are dying, who do you save? And what is your worth in this kingdom? Isn’t that a little like hiding your light under a bush?

My brother is a pastor of a church, and he recently wrote a book that I sincerely love. It isn’t because it is a masterpiece of wordplay. It is because in it, he chronicles the building of his church by fighting Satan in a real world setting. He talks about getting out in the real world and stealing from Satan what belongs to God. His church doesn’t put on a pious, religious front. They instead, are warriors, pillaging from Satan’s camp using every method they can think of. There aren’t great discussions on whether or not viewing Harry Potter is going to make everyone into a witch; there is a restaurant operated for the sole purpose of getting to know the people they hope to lead to the Lord. He talks about websites set up as the first taste of any church. He is fighting fire with fire.

From the time my babies were small, I’ve tried to impart to them the understanding that living a Christian life is choosing to be a soldier. The enemy doesn’t fight fair. It is a bloody, exhausting, but satisfying existence. Jesus has us here for a purpose — and working up enough faith to own mansions, labeling yourself a god (creepy, and blasphemous), and be healed of every hiccup isn’t it. We’re in a battle for souls, and everything in our lives are circulating around that. And if you, as a Christian, are leading a quiet, uneventful, rich life going to church, eating potato salad as you pat your righteous self on the back, attending seminars with other like-minded brothers and sisters, and nothing is ever going wrong for you — well, then you have been neutralized by the enemy. However, if you find yourself in the Valley of the Shadow of Death on a pretty consistent basis, then you are probably a threat, and you should be happy that at least you aren’t wasting away the talents God gave you. I find the most dangerous Christians in the world these days, emotionally exhausted, but spiritually powerful. Sometimes, you can almost see them lying in a crumpled, bloody pile with a big smile on their face. There is nothing like defeating the enemy! And the true warriors always untangle themselves, stand up, brush off the dust, bind up their wounds, and jump right back into the battle.

I am a Christian. My battlefields are no more or less important than anyone else’s. If the proclaimed Christian community has objections to my orders, they can take it up with our commander — Jesus Christ.

Ride it like ya stole it!!!

— Cathie M.

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I Almost Died Today in the Stupidest Way Ever

So, my adventure managed to end on a really, really bizarre note. We left Austin at 1 pm on Saturday, amid rain, March Madness traffic, and flash floods. Neither my husband nor I had felt all that well that morning, and after standing in a mud bowl during the party, getting sneezed and coughed on, our immune systems just weren’t up to the task. 11 hours later, we had barely made it to the outskirts of Dallas. In an effort to try to save our marriage, he broke down and got us a motel room. It worked. By morning, all was forgiven….until we got on the bike again, in yet another downpour. Grossest feeling ever is having to wear drenched clothes that keep drying out and rewetting over and over again.

Finally, we started hitting some sunshine right outside of OKC. With the sunshine came happier thoughts, and we managed to ignore the several..and I repeat, severalĀ things that had gone wrong.

First, both of our helmet shields broke. We sounded like the Blue Man Group practicing their percussion routine going down the road.

Second, in a bit of a temper, Don punched his saddlebag because he couldn’t get it closed. It punched right back, with it’s buckle, and punctured his hand. Don 0, Saddlebag 1.

Third, every person at every gas station we stopped at asked us if we were riding in this weather..Don, who had thought this was funny the first 100 times, soon became agitated with people’s quick-witted, albeit good-natured jests. So much for being an unapproachable badass motorcycle guy. The other 4 million times people made jokes, it earned them a dire, rain-soaked look of pure danger.Or they would have been afraid if he hadn’t looked like a bit of a drowned rat. Frankly, we looked pathetic.

Fourth: Almost every single place we stopped, only had a Denny’s open. Denny’s. Don’s least favorite restaurant on the planet earth.

And my favorite, the fifth incident. Driving down a finally sunny highway, going about 85 mph, with motorists and semis all around, Don’s BLACK bandana, which he had tied around his head to keep his hair from tickling his face, fell down around his eyes, successfully and completely blinding him. He couldn’t get the broken face guard on his helmet to go up, and he couldn’t reach his hand into his helmet. We were literally swerving all over the wet road while Don was trying to figure out what in the world he was going to do. Cars and trucks were swerving trying to miss us. When he felt the grass of the median under his wheel, he came to a stop, pulled the helmet off and pulled the bandana off. When he stopped hyperventilating, we drove another mile to a gas station, where he celebrated his second chance at life with a bag of pork rinds and a red bull. He told that story to every customer that came in there, some of whom had witnessed our little incident and were laughing at us. Not with us, mind you, at us. Happy news is that I have now been driven on a motorcycle amid heavy traffic by a blind guy, and I didn’t die. I didn’t even scream. In fact, I now know this about myself: I react to severe terror by doing absolutely nothing at all. I didn’t scream, flail my arms, or try to jump off the bike. I didn’t even start praying or hold on to Don harder. I literally rode the whole thing out and thought one word. It starts with an F and I’m not proud of it, but hey, it wasn’t planned….Let’s see what you think when you have no control over the motorcycle you’re riding on the back of starts weaving back and forth in the path of semis on a wet road. I’ll bet it won’t be “Darn it”.

All that being said, it is good to be home. I loved seeing my Dad, had fun with my friends, and my kiddos took good care of the homestead. So, I’m going to rate this trip an 8, taking a couple points off of the overall score because I ALMOST DIED on the way home. Thank you, God, for keeping us safe on this really horrible motorcycle ride….You rule!

— Cathie