I first came across this story almost thirty years ago. At that time, the internet was just starting to come into widespread use, but nothing close to what we have today. Today, this story is one that would be passed around in e-mails and on face book. Back then, they were copied, and recopied, and recopied as they were passed from person to person. I soon forgot most such stories, but this one has stayed with me, maybe because I identify all too closely with the bike rider. I have lost the original, so what follows is my memory of the story.
“Shortly after experiencing and embracing God’s love, a man received a gift from God, a tandem bicycle. He got on it to take a ride, and Jesus got on in the rear seat. He didn’t offer the front seat to Jesus, just went over and got on. They set out and things were shaky at first, but as he learned to balance with someone riding behind him, they progressed on down the road. Things did not go smoothly. There were many potholes in the road, and it seemed that they hit most, if not all of them. Sometimes when the road forked, they took the wrong side and got lost. Many times, they tumbled over.
Somewhere along the way, after one of those tumbles, the man got on the back and let Jesus have the front seat. Things were much better after that. Jesus knew how to make that bike fly over the potholes. They always took the right fork, never got lost; in fact, Jesus knew some amazing shortcuts. He also knew some fantastic scenic roads that they traveled slowly to take it all in. Whenever the man asked where they were going next, Jesus just smiled and said, “Pedal.”
We get on the bike in the front seat because we think we know the way, what’s best. As we grow in our faith, we realize that there is much more that we have not even begun to comprehend. It is at this point that we move to the rear seat.
Loving God, thank you for the gift of your Son who steers our bike and takes us to new, exciting places. Amen.
Always, to God be the glory.