Have you ever ridden a motorcycle? They are a lot of fun and a little bit dangerous.
On a motorcycle, as with a bicycle, when you go into a curve on any banked road, you lean into it. Leaning your bike is how you steer it once you are going any speed at all. This is something I learned to do as a boy on my bicycle. Later, I bought a Honda motorcycle. I had to earn the money for it which gave me a great sense of satisfaction. I rode it to work and school through Junior High and High School. Being propelled down the road with the wind chilling my face was thrilling. I loved it! Do you know how you can spot a happy motorcyclist? By the bugs in his teeth!
Every cyclist learns from experience that when you get up to speed, you don't turn the handle bars to steer like you do when you are going slow. On the road, you keep your eyes ahead, looking far down the straightaway. At high speed, you take the corners as they come by leaning in the direction of the turn.
I want to talk to you about leaning into your turn.
Has your life come to an unexpected turn? If you resist the turn, if you fight the curve, you'll lose control and crash. You can't straighten out the highway. If you go with the flow of the curve, you'll actually come out accelerating on the other side, launched in a new direction on the highway of life. The scary part is yielding your purpose, giving up old momentum, as you lean into your unknown new curve. Even good change feels scary.
All my life I've been a lover of God. My life has taken many strange turns. But I've never been wrong when my motive was love. I love God's word and I love his people. That hasn't been easy. Some people are not easy to love. Some religious people will hurt you. I think religion can be a bad trip. But God ... He never fails! His word is true. Any road God lays out in front of us will always be best.
My motivation most of my life has been to bear witness to the truth. For God, I want to be a faithful witness of what the Lord shows me. That means I often confront or expose the sub-par substitutes in the church for the reality of Jesus Christ and his kingdom. I don't think of myself as radical, but I am a reformer. I'm perceived by many as a staunch conservative. I may be. I think I'm a squishy patriotic pro-Constitution church revivalist who asks his beloved liberal friends, "How's that been working for you?" I'm a closet conservative who loves everybody but wants people to envision the outcome of embracing idiocy.
Preacher friends and churches where I've served think of me as a catalyst, always injecting the life of the Spirit into the orthodoxy of the word, rejecting staleness, messing with dead traditions, stirring the pot, wanting Christ to be seen in our midst.
Now I'm seeing a curve in the road ahead. I'm not sure what direction the highway goes in 2019. It's beyond my present field of view. Will I slow down, be cautious, figure it out? Or will I trust the Lord of the road, accelerate, and lean into the curve?
-- Ron Wood is a writer and minister. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.touchedbygrace.org. The opinions expressed are those of the author.Editorial on 12/26/2018
Print Headline: Leaning into the turn