“I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink , and find satisfaction in all his toil–this is the gift of God.”–Ecclesiastes 3:12
It was one of the first warm days of our spring, and here I was , with my arms wrapped around my husband’s waist, perched on the back of his motorcycle, winding along the shores of Lake Minnetonka, with the warm breeze shining on my cheeks, or so I imagined. I couldn’t really feel the breeze on my face because I had the visor down on my motorcycle helmet . I hadn’t yet gotten enough nerve to let go with one of my arms in order to peel the visor back , because I was that terrified. As I started to realize how glad my husband was to simply have me along for the ride, I started to relax, and finally enjoy myself.
Years ago, when we were first dating, my husband rode a motorcycle, and I thought that was very daring of him, and yes, I admit it, part of my initial attraction to him. I used to ride with him on the back of his bike too, and I don’t remember being afraid. Youthful innocence, maybe? When we became engaged, he sold his motorcycle. I am always quick to point out that it was his decision to sell it , not mine, and that I had nothing to do with it. In hindsight, I realize that I had everything to do with it. What a sacrifice this was for him to make; we were young and didn’t have a lot of money, so he sold his beloved motorcycle in order for us to have a little extra as we began our new life together.
In our household, over the last few years, we have been battling illness; or rather, my husband has been battling illness, so we have been there, battling right beside him. When things seemed at their worst as far as his health went, I remember reading this verse out of the Psalms to him (147:3) and the promise in it brought us both to tears:
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
After recovering from his illness, and other life’s circumstances that exhausted him in many ways, my husband decided he wanted to embrace life and begin enjoying it again. Who could blame him? Certainly not me. Of course, he decided to buy a motorcycle, and quite frankly, I wish he hadn’t had to wait more than 25 years to start riding again. I only had one stipulation. I wouldn’t ever get on the back of that thing with him. I had become comfortable in my uneventfulness; I was content to Iive in fear of all things related to motorcycles, and I adamantly refused to ride with him.
My husband has enjoyed his motorcycle for two summers now, and whenever the nice weather came, he took his bike out for a spin, and when he came home, he very gently lamented that his only regret was enjoying something so much, and not being able to share it with me.
Of course, this couldn’t go on forever. Finally, I relented. I mustered up the courage and I went for a ride with him just a couple of days ago. We only went for a drive around the lake, and stopped for a cup of coffee. At some point during our cruise, I realized, it was okay to experience rough times that might cause some fear and anxiety; after all, it’s during these desert times that God speaks softly to us. However, it was time for me to let go of my fear and embrace more of what life has to offer. Later that day, I read my husband’s Facebook status, and this is what he posted:
“Life is short and tomorrow is not promised. Find something you like to do and do it today.”
This was a good lesson for me. I’m going to start enjoying more todays.