Catalysts

What to do with the bike hanging upside down in the garage?

That expensive bike has been hanging there ten or twelve years. As far as I remember no one in the family has ever ridden it. It just hangs there. I put it there “for the day when….” Someday, one of our two grandgirls would use it. There was another idea that must have been hatched during delirium: Carole and I would ride bikes together. I don’t even have a bike and Carole is not much of a biker chic. Chic—yes; biker chic—not so much.

It is not going to happen. With one grandgirl in college and the other a high school senior, the probability they are going to want that beautiful bike—with gears—is not likely to happen. The upside down bike is symbolic.

A trifle part has been my other delusion that as long as the bike was there, my girls would not grow beyond me. Maybe they would go bike riding with me. After ten or twelve years, the evidence is in: it is not going to happen.

About once a year, the Lady and I have said—“we really ought to do something with that bike.” The conversation always ends with, “Yeah, probably.” But it hangs in the way of progress and storage shelves are definitely progress.

That bike is a far greater symbol. Recent days have forced me to ask what else is hanging in storage. A conversation with a significant friend of long ago with whom I have not talked for over five decades has thrown me into serious introspection. I was about my granddaughter’s age when we met!! I had not one goal to my name. I had no direction, or any prospect of having a life purpose. In the first few weeks after our meeting, I discovered church as family, a redesigning of life. I was not ignorant of those things, but now they became very personal and applicable to me. I was no longer a kid. Preachers, teachers, singers have always been important to me, but now they were no longer a distant component, they were speaking to the realities of my past, present and future in graphic terms. It would take two decades to bring me up to speed—healing, tutoring, mentoring, self-awareness, but it began there. And that friend was a catalyst, although neither of us would have used that word.

I entered a new world where preachers talked about miracles and prayed for them to happen as a matter of course and fact. I was on a new journey and walking with Jesus.

The short email from the friend from the past has thrown me into severe self-examination. What is still hanging in storage? What wounds are yet not healed? What is standing in the way of God’s plan for the next season?

My first inclination was to tell my friend about our adventures, where God has taken us, the people we’ve met and worked with. That was not intended to impress anyone, it was more about sharing a few things that God has done since the catalytic days. It feels like accountability.

This is also life-evaluation. Am I where God wants me to be at this point in His plan? The re-connection is not just with the friend from another life-time, but with the me when I was in those days What needs to be celebrated that we neglected because of the driven-ness to get to the next project or goal?

Lots of activity in the garage. While others work, I’ve been staring at the bike. There is another message:

Don’t hang it up.

©2015 D. Dean Benton

Writer, Wonderer, Meanderer

I’ve had a Twitter account for awhile. Now that I have a new smart phone, I activated the Twitter account—nothing like being on the cutting edge. My son and I just made a trip to the dump. I could tweet you about such excitement if you decide to follow me.  I could also tell you what dynamic things I’m hearing, seeing, reading.

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