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Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sometimes you find yourself in the wrong lane

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

I am sitting here reminiscing the ride.

Day 6 of the ride found Chuck and I thinking about where to go next.

We had accomplished riding to Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon, and Sedona, all really cool places, well not cool actually hot places, but they sure were neat.

We were sitting in our lounge chairs, yes we have lounge chairs that we take with us; our lounge chairs even have cup holders.

We are sitting there sipping our new favorite drink that we discovered on the ride, “Peace ice tea and lemonade.” There is nothing better than “Peace ice tea and lemonade” after a long hot ride, very refreshing. I wonder if I will get any royalties for promoting their drink, I won’t.

We are sitting there and Chuck says, “I have always wanted to see Mount Rushmore.”

I said, “Mount Rushmore, that is in South Dakota!” He says, “Thank you for pointing out the obvious.”

I took pride in that remark, I always considered myself the master of the obvious.

I said, “We will have a couple days of long rides in front of us.” Chuck just looks at me. Once again, I was proving my masterfulness.

The next morning we got up and took off, which is much better than taking off before we got up; although, I have met a few people on the road that I am sure have gotten it backwards.

We had decided to ride to Santa Fe NM, that was our destination.

Our ride took us through Albequerky, I know that Albequerky is actually spelled Albuquerque, but Albequerky is more fun to say.

Albequerky is where I-40 and I-25 meet. We wanted to take I-25 north to Santa Fe. We were riding along, Chuck in the front and me behind him. Someone had pointed out that we looked like Mutt and Jeff on our ride. You see, I ride a Sportster, the smallest of the Harley line; Chuck rides an Ultra Classic, the largest of the Harley line. With Chuck in the front and me in the rear I could not help but think of this cartoon I watched when I was a kid; with Mutt following behind Jeff saying constantly, “Where we going now Jeff, where we going now?”

As we entered Albequerky, I went into total tourist mode.

My head was on a swivel. I would look at traffic, check my buffer zone; a buffer zone is the distance between my bike and all the vehicles around me, playing the buffer zone game is something that most riders play continually.

I would look at the sights of the city and return my attention to the traffic again.

As we closed in on I-25, which required us to go left, actually merge right and then go left I failed to notice that Chuck had moved into another lane. In fact, I didn’t notice it until all of a sudden I was exiting the freeway and he was busy riding off into the distance.

I was in the wrong lane.

When I was a kid on the farm, I could not wait for Saturday morning.

Saturday morning at 7am KLOE TV had the “Bugs Bunny Road Runner hour.” I would watch this show religiously, partly because it was so funny, and partly because the alternative was to watch the “Hog and Feed Report,” nothing against the “Hog and Feed Report” I just did not find it particularly invigorating.

One of my very favorite “Bugs Bunny cartoons is where Bugs decides he needs a vacation.

When Bugs goes on vacation he does not take a bus, or a train, or a plane. When Bugs takes a vacation he digs a hole and pops up at his vacation spot.

On this particular episode Bugs wants to go to St. Louis, but when he pops his head out he is in China, and he says the immortal line, “I should have taken a left a Albuquerque!”

There is nothing like the sinking feeling of heading down an off ramp watching your friend ride off into the distance.

As I rode down this off ramp, Bugs Bunny came to mind.

I should have taken a left, I hope I don’t end up in China.

I went into total country kid navigation mode. Country kids don’t look at road signs, they look for landmarks. I started riding the side streets always keeping I-25 north in front of me. After about twenty minutes I came to an on ramp for I-25 north, I took it.

As I entered the interstate system again and just as I was coming up to speed, Tinker; yes I named my bike after my horse, it is fitting really, Tinker was white, my bike is white. Tinker was actually a pony; my bike can be classified as a pony. Tinker had a grey; actually, it was more silver, head. My bike is chrome forward of the gas tank.

Tinker starts to act funny.

She starts to cough and spit, a sure sign that I am running on empty.

I quickly change my gas switch from normal to reserve, thank God for a reserve switch, and continue on.

I now have about ten miles to find a gas station.

I am looking not only for a gas station; I am also looking for Chuck. I start to sing an old Bonjovi song, “I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride.” I ride past numerous gas stations.

Another reason I named my bike after my horse is that Tinker never left me stranded on the road; she always got me home. My bike has been a great bike, it has never left me stranded either.

After a nervous few minutes, I spot a Phillips 66 station, not our normal gas stop.

I feel a nudge to go there.

As I am pulling into the gas station, my cell phone begins to vibrate in my pocket; no, I did not download an app that tells me when I am near a gas station, although that would be cool. Maybe, I will develop a gas station app; no, after the headache I got from the traveler’s mug enterprise of 1972 I think I will leave it to Anthony; he is the app guru at the “Y”.

My phone is buzzing in my pocket, I look into the gas station, and there is Chuck calling me.

Chuck and I have ridden together a long time.

I stopped at this gas station because I thought, “This is where Chuck would stop.”

Chuck stopped at this gas station because he thought, “This is where Roger would stop.”

Once again, we were together.

Sometimes, during my walk with Christ, I have not paid attention and have found myself in the wrong lane.

When I was young, it would take me much longer than it does now to meet up with Him again. But, Christ has been walking with me for quite some time now. I can still find myself in the wrong lane every so often, probably more often than I would like to admit, but we meet up much sooner now.

Walking with Christ was never meant to be easy, but it sure is comforting to know that while I may take my eyes off Him, He never takes His eyes off me. I think Jesus got a kick out me not paying attention and taking the wrong off ramp.

He taught me a great lesson that day.

Blessings,

Roger Chaplain
http://ymcacw.org/clark-christian-principles

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