When I was 13 years old, I somehow convinced my parents that I needed a motorcycle. That first Honda 125 was a great bike, and I drove it all over the hills of Quito, Ecuador and had some great adventures with my friends. When I got on that Honda, something happened inside me. I felt freedom, I felt adventure, I felt full of life. I continue to have that feeling whenever I get on a motorcycle.
This past weekend, I joined 3 other guys for a ride. My wife Gina encouraged me to go in anticipation of my 49th birthday later this week, so I went. Again, I felt freedom, I felt adventure, I felt full of life. 3 1/2 days, 4 states, 1250 miles of incredible scenery, lonely roads, great conversations with friends. Today, I feel FULL.
You may not understand, but driving on an empty road in Northern Arizona, listening to the Eagles sing “Take it Easy” or “Take it to the Limit” somehow is therapuetic. When you’re on a bike you have hours to think, hours to listen, hours to pray. When else do I find time to do that? When else do I MAKE the time to do that?
I come home better. My head is clear, my body is tired, but my spirit is reignited! I had some great conversations with God on this ride, and was able to listen to Him. I had some great conversations with friends and was challenged by those. I was able to set some goals for my life, for this new year of life. I was able to evaluate some things in my life, and I was able to dream. I’m better because I took this ride.
You may not ride a motorcycle, but what can you do to create this space? We all need to do this much more often.
Here are 3 lessons I learned this weekend:
#1) Take Time
I don’t take enough time to listen, I spend most of my life talking or “doing”. Just listening to God’s voice, listening to myself think, just enjoying silence, just listening to some great music. I need to find more time in my life to do this. It doesn’t have to be on a bike, but I need to be more intentional with this.
#2) I Need to Follow Better
I shared with the guys, that one of the things I really liked about this ride was that I wasn’t in charge. In my job, I tend to lead. I’m usually the one planning, organizing, bringing people together. There’s something wonderful in getting an opportunity to just follow, and not be in charge. The reminder is so much deeper when we realize that God has invited us to “Follow Him”. We need to be better followers, putting our trust in Him. I was reminded of that this week.
#3) We’re Better Together
While the ride was full of lot’s of time alone, there’s also a thrill in riding “together”. We were created to share life with others. We’re better when people can speak into our life, when we can experience adventure with friends and when we process life with others. I take advantage of that. I have an incredible wife, I am surrounded by a great family, I have friends that mean so much to me. I’m better because of each of them, and I hope they are better because of me. Again, I want to be more intentional with those around me. I value them so much, but I don’t always show that.
That’s what I learned this weekend… actually there are many other lessons that I’m still thinking about.
Imagine what you’ll learn when you take some time, when you stop what you’re doing, when you engage in life with others.
Don’t get stuck in a rut. Ride in the wind.