Well, I have discovered that if I don’t write, folks don’t read. So I’m back after a full weekend.
Friday is usually my day off. I try very hard to not schedule anything for Fridays so that I can “recharge my batteries.” This Friday, actually all week, I was looking forward to taking an extended ride on the Harley. The weather information on my phone said it would be sunny and 72 on Friday. And for some reason — I actually believed that was what it would be.
I got up late in the morning, got ready and mounted up for the ride. I put on a long sleeve shirt, my jeans and an insulated motorcycle vest. I put my cold riding coat and gloves in the back and headed out. I rode up I-85 through Atlanta, up I-985 towards Gainesville. I was planning to ride up to Clayton then arch over to Hiawassee and back down I-575 to Atlanta. However — by the time I got to the Oakwood exit on I-985, I was very chilled. It was overcast and getting to be rather cool on the bike. I stopped for gas and lunch. Then I drug out my leathers — chaps & coat. My what a difference proper gear makes to rider comfort. The ride to Clayton was much more comfortable and warmer. The sun actually peaked out for a bit and felt nice and warm on my back.
The ride over the mountains and through the valleys was wonderful. I passed little waterfalls along the side of the road where the hills has been cut for the road, saw lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, mountain vistas, and so much beautiful geography on this trip. It was about 400 miles in about 3.5 hours. Instead of taking GA 515 down to I-575 I chose to make a left in Blairsville and ride over Blood Mountain to Cleveland, down to Lula and back down I-985 and home.
What a wonderful trip. It was so relaxing, so refreshing, so good. What a privilege I have to choose to make such a ride. What a blessing — and it almost ended before it began.
While leaving Senoia, I headed down GA 16 towards Turin. I was riding on a straight piece of road, light traffic, good light, dry road. The car in front of me , a good 4-5 car lengths, stopped to make a left turn. I saw its brake lights. I knew it was slowing to turn. What I did not see, what did not register in my mind even though I was looking right at the car was — it had STOPPED. And I was closing at 55 miles per hour. Too fast to stop. I braked hard, down shifted and really stood on it. I was NOT going to stop soon enough. If I had been in a car/truck I would have hit the car or damaged my vehicle by turning off the road to miss the other driver. As it was, being on a motorcycle was in my favor. I was able to guide the bike around the car on the edge of the pavement (he had stopped near the center line) and slid right past him on the right and came to a stop about 10-20 feet beyond the car on the shoulder.
While this is not the usual outcome of car vs. bike — without the bike, I would have had issues. As it was, I was very lucky and very blessed to not have the accident I could have had. As I got back underway, I gave a prayer of thanksgiving for my safety and for the blessing of not having my day end there. And I drove just a little more alert than before.
You know, sometimes things are right in front of us and we fail to see them. We are looking right at it and fail to see it. Sometimes it is an object we cannot find. Sometimes it is the solution to our problem and we just don’t see it. Sometimes it is a consequence to an action and we fail to make the connection of what we are doing and the end result.
I am thankful that I serve a God that gives me second chances. I am thankful for a God who uses events like this in my life to get my attention. And I am thankful for persons that have heard God speak to them and allow themselves to be used to get our attention focused on things God would have us do.
Like those who work with Stop Hunger Now. They made the effort to contact the leadership of our Annual Conference and through them, gained an opportunity to share their ministry of feeding the hungry with us at Conference. As a result, I have learned about world hunger in a very real way and that there is actually a solution to the problem. I have learned that I can be part of that solution in a very real way. I can actually make a difference. Me, with my resources, with my labor, with my gifts and graces.
And here I am, sharing with you about world hunger, about how YOU can make a real difference and offering you an opportunity to join with me in making a difference by participating in this ministry.
It’s right in front of you. Will you take my offer?
Until the next time….The Hog Father