I love movies with guys riding motorcycles. The bikes look hot, go fast, and it’s amazing to watch the riders handle them with ease, skill, and daring.
I remember the scene in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, when bad guys were attacking and trying to kill Logan, soon to be known as Wolverine. He escapes with the aid of a classic motorcycle, and ducks and weaves his way out of danger from an assassin in an attack helicopter. It was incredible watching Logan ride through machine gun fire, smoke, and bombs, all the while leaning left and right. Sound fun? Would you volunteer for a ride with Wolverine under similar circumstances? It looked real scary, but wasn’t, if you know how to ride a cycle and lean.
Think about it. To a passenger, it’s always a matter of faith. As long as you lean in the same direction as the driver, the ride is generally smooth. But when the passenger panics, like I did once when I was younger and it felt more natural to sit up straight, it caused problems for my cousin who I was riding with. Luckily, we didn’t crash, but it was scary for a moment. My cousin worked hard and averted a potentially harmful situation. He then told me that incident illustrated a critical principle: learning to lean the right way is necessary to riding a bike well.
Read Romans 8:1-17.
God has created a framework in the universe, on the planet, and in our lives, for our health, safety, and enjoyment. In the Scriptures He has stated that if we decide to lean away from sin and toward Him, we can enjoy a Christ-centered life and move in any direction God is leading us. Think about the protection the Ten Commandments provide. If you do not break any of them, the odds of you living a morally bankrupt, relationally empty, financially insecure life are thin.
Yet sometimes it feels unnatural to lean. Our instincts, as well as the people around us, and the settings we find ourselves in (or put ourselves), can cause us to lean away from God. I still remember walking away from some of my high school friends who would not listen to reason and wanted to vandalize school property for “fun.” Our own wisdom gets us in trouble. We suffer a minor fender bender or a major wreck because of choices we make.
I have learned that trusting God is a lot like riding a motorcycle. At first it seems unnatural, even scary. But as you get used to the speed, how to use your brakes, and get more familiar with how the machine handles, it becomes easier. I know that not trusting God and His ways seems crazy after all these years, but it is as crazy as leaning the wrong way on a motorcycle.
Now compare your Christian experience to riding a motorcycle. Has it been fast, a bit wild, and have you come close to tipping over and crashing? Maybe the reason is you are working against God instead of with Him. How can you lean more in the direction God is going?
Many of my friends ride motorcycles and watching them take turns gracefully is flat out impressive. So is an obedient Christian who is committed to following God’s will. But a person who does things his or her way is like a bike about to crash. What kind of ride are you looking for, if your tendency is to court disaster by not leaning the right way?
Think theologically. To increase sin resistance, lean with God and let the Spirit help you.
Love is a verb,