Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Flat Tire

   This past year I have started something to help with the "becoming a man" belly. I picked up a road bike and began riding to work 3 times a week.  Of course the reasons of getting out of shape were the original motivation, yet I soon realized that there is a substantial financial benefit to it as well. We began saving a substantial amount of money in gas each month. So saving money, getting fresh air, and enjoyable work out seemed to be like a win, win!
   Enter the problems: there is over 200 feet in elevation difference between my house and the church where I work, in a short distance, which continually reminds me how in shape I am not, and for whatever reason, I got the Bike that seems to get a flat tire every other time I am riding home. I have called Melissa to pick me up, called a college student from our church for a ride, or in the case where I have had Ella in the wagon behind me, I walk my bike home.
   This brings me to yesterday. As I was riding my bike home and coming around Dixie State College (University now I think), I once again had a flat tire. My usual reaction, "are you kidding me?" followed by the thought of thinking this is ridiculous and not worth it to make it to work on the bike and seemingly to never make it home. I was about ready to give up on this bike, and take it back to the shop in all my anger and frustration, demanding a refund.
   The college kids are Spring Break, so no rides there. Most of my friends are not in place where they could swing by. I thought of calling Melissa to pick me up but realized pretty quickly that with the jeep in the shop, the car full of salon stuff needing to be unloaded, she would need to drive my van. No big deal right? Well, not so simple. My 1978 GMC Vandura, 3/4 ton lifted 4x4, oxidized orange van, is the most undesirable vehicle that I have ever owned according to my wife, and some other women. In fact, some joke it should have the words "free candy" on the side and play circus music. I do not feel that way about it at all it might be the coolest vehicle any respected red neck could own; however, Melissa, clearly, is not as enlightened as I am in this area. I am more likely to squeeze coffee out of a lemon than to get Melissa to drive the van. Don't get me wrong, if it was absolutely NECESSARY, she would do anything for me (ANYTHING) but this time, since I have legs that function, I would be walking. I think she was busy with people over at our house anyway so I didn't even call.
   So there I was, annoyed with my circumstance, pushing my bike up the steepest part of my trip, playing through my head all the things I intend to say to the gentleman who sold me the bike when I walk this lemon into his shop (by my house). I was so determined to be frustrated that I had it in my head that if anyone pulled over to help me, I would refuse. How could they possibly understand? This is happens so much! You think helping me this one time fixes my bigger problem? No! I am going to grumble my way to the shop, so these people will experience my pain! Fortunately, nobody stopped. :)
   Now as I walked along a thought hit me. Most likely, God was tapping me on the shoulder, and once again my thoughts went to my boy Nate. For just a brief moment I remembered the pain of finding him and holding his lifeless body, and like lightning hitting my brain, perspective punched me between the eyes. There are worse things in life that could happen than pushing a bicycle with a flat tire home. My heart sunk, and I pretty quickly realized that I am blessed with legs, fresh air, and warm sunshine (It is beautiful here in March for all my Canadian friends; I am already in shorts and T-shirts; lol). I thanked God for my son, and the life Christ gives me everyday and felt a change of heart. Walking, was alright by me.
   It is usually easy to see in hindsight, but sometimes not. When I am the victim, I can't see anything but chains of pain around me. I am so hurt and focused inward that there is nothing and no one around me  that can help me see otherwise. It seems counter-intuitive to attempt to look outside for healing and get my eyes off of myself. Here is the kicker for me, as long as I stay focused on the bad, it stays right where it is. When I switch to the good, the bad starts to slowly but surely seem less significant. In that sense, sometimes the best thing you can do in a rough those rough moments is get out and do something fun or go be with encouraging people rather than pull back in recluse  to wallow in self pity.
   So how did my day end? Well, I got to the shop without grumbling and felt like I was in a good mood. The owner, Will, saw me, and knowing I have had troubles, instantly told me that he would do anything he could to make it right including a full refund in which he would eat the cost. I didn't even ask for it but he took care of me anyway. Next, my jeep in shop, well I got a call from Moses (my mechanic), and he told me it was fixed. I asked him the cost, and he said nothing. He has been working on it for three weeks, found the problem, felt it was connected to prior work he had done for me, and decided he would not charge me a dime. Love that guy. (Just wish I could speak Spanish so I could understand him fully)
    I made it home with a fixed bike, fixed jeep, a wife who is always loving and happy to see me, a daughter who makes me feel like the best dad in the world, and a God who is always gracious. Life is good! Sure glad I didn't get caught up in the small stuff. :)

1 comment:

  1. I feel like it is so easy to get attached to the negative things/feelings that occur during the day and even harder to get attached to the positive. But it is true that we are very blessed and that is what we need to focus on. Good one!