A Tap on the Shoulder

Tuesday I rode my bike to work like every other day. It was beautiful riding weather. In fact, it was hard to go to work, the local mountains roads were calling my name. After a long day at work I went to the parking structure looking forward to my ride home. I geared up and got on the bike and it won't start. It cranks just fine, but it won't fire. Stupid bike. I checked all the usual stuff, hoses, sensors, kill switch, etc. Nothing. I even tried to bump start it. Nothing would make it start. I called the tow service we have (which shall remain nameless, but it starts with All and ends with State) and they said they'd have someone out there in an hour and half. What great service. Not! That was too late to do any good, the shops would be closed by then. So I called my lovely wife to come get me and left the bike at work overnight.

Now before we go any farther in the story, you should know that I hate it when a vehicle leaves me stranded. It's a bit like your spouse cheating on you. I don't trust the vehicle any more, I just want it out of my sight. If someone had offered me $20 for it, I probably would have sold it on the spot. So it was all I could do to keep my cool and my Christianity.

On Wednesday I took the truck to work. I was sure the bike would fire right up and I would be even more frustrated at it. But no, it still wouldn't start. That's kinda good, at least it's consistent. I got the tow truck out (after a 2 and 1/2 hour wait when he was supposed to be there within the hour) and loaded up the bike. When the bike got the shop, the mechanic got up on the flatbed truck and the bike started the first crank. Arrrrgh.... stupid bike. So he thinks there's a short or something and he works on it for over an hour and can't find anything wrong with the bike. But it needed tires and oil change, so I told him to go ahead with that and I'll pick the bike up on the Thursday.

On Thursday, the mechanic calls me and says you won't believe what I found. I'm thinking, "Great, he found the problem why it won't start." But that wasn't it. The whole rear end that holds the rear tire in place is called the swing arm. That swing arm basically mounts to the frame of the bike with one bolt, so it can articulate up and down as the suspension moves. What the mechanic found is that the bolt was there, but the nut to hold it in place was missing! If that bolt had fallen out while I was riding the bike, the rear end and rear tire would have completely fallen off. As you can imagine, at freeway speeds in LA, that would not have a happy ending.

I am certain that the reason the bike didn't start at work, but did start at the shop, is because there is nothing wrong the bike. The bike is just fine. However, once in a while we get a tap on the shoulder and God reminds us that he is still around and involved in our lives. I'm grateful that he takes the time to care for us.

So what God stories do you have? That's worth pondering about.....



There's good and there's the guys that have real skillz.

Then there is Danny MacAskill - he's in a class by himself. He's defiantly got skillz.

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How to be Rich

Warning: Sappiness ahead...

Yesterday our church hosted a Cinco de Mayo party (ok, so it was really a Tres de Mayo party). I was expecting a fun time of hanging with some friends and eating some good Mexican food. That's good stuff. It turns out the whole thing was ruse to give me a surprise birthday party (2 weeks early). Needless to say I was surprised. But now looking back I understand why things seemed so weird... Anyway, it was great party. Lots of fun. It was the weirdest Cinco de Mayo party I've ever been to, but still lots of fun.

Events like this always give me cause to do a little reflection. What makes the party so fun? Is it the surprise? No, although it certainly was surprising. Is it the good food? No, but there was lots of good food. Is it the generous gift? No, but that's very nice and thoughtful of everyone. Was it the Mexican dances? No, but we got some good pics for someone else surprise birthday party. LOL. What makes the party so much fun is all the people. All the friends that there laughing and talking, that's the joy of the party. And great friends are what makes us rich.

It's easy to look at our bank accounts during a recession and to not feel very wealthy. But richness of life, joy and happiness do NOT come from a full bank account. We can all name off dozens of rich people that don't appear to be happy. We all know folks that are not rich and seem to be very happy. Certainly there are happy, rich folk and unhappy, poor folks too. What I'm getting at is richness and happiness are two different attributes that do not come in a pair. If you want to be rich, have some good friends. They will add richness to your life in unmeasurable ways. Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks this is true. Consider these quotes:

Where there are friends, there is wealth.
~ Titus Maccius Plautus

Count your age with friends but not with years.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"
~ The Bible: Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.

If you want to be rich, have some good friends. And we all know the old saying, "If you want good friends, you need to be a good friend." Try it. Turn enemies into friends. Develop new friends. It's great! You'll never be sorry that you have great friends!!

I truly am rich.