In February 2007 my son, then 17, purchased his first motorcycle, a 1992 Suzuki GSF400 Bandit. Not really a dream bike, and it was certainly nothing to look at. It was a bit rough. In fact, when it was delivered, the front brake caliper was tie wrapped to the forks and the read was tie wrapped to the swing arm. It seems as though the calipers were frozen. . . .with the brakes applied. The bike was stored outside and had survived two hurricanes, the last being Katrina.
My immediate thought was, “What a great project for us to rebuild this bike.” My thoughts were met with enthusiasm and eagerness. As I began the rebuilding process, I noticed a glaring problem. It wasn’t the exhaust pipe filled with water, it wasn’t the cylinders full of water, it wasn’t the frozen brakes, it wasn’t the rusted chain. It was my son. He wasn’t there. It seemed our schedules never quite matched up. I’m not knocking him, he goes to college full time and has two jobs. But this was something I wanted to do together. I wanted to impart my mechanical knowledge on him. I wanted him to learn by taking things apart. Well, things that don’t work. He’s had plenty of practice dismantling perfectly good things, but that’s another story.
Over the past year, he has provided money for parts, but little hands on time. As I near completion (waiting on parts) of the overhaul, I reflected that our Christian walk is a lot like that motorcycle overhaul. We want it to work, but we don’t want to invest any time into the process. We want to be smart about the Bible, but we don’t want to spend the time to get in the Word. We like to read books about the Bible, but don’t really study the Word alone. We go to Bible studies that study the latest Christian bestseller instead of digging in the Word. We want it easy. I’m all for instant oatmeal and microwave popcorn, but we can’t have instant or microwave Christianity. The only way to have an authentic Christian life is to allow the Holy Spirit to infuse us with His wisdom as we study God’s Word for what it is; God’s personal words to his children.
We grow stong through the tough times, through trials, and through suffering. It is through those difficult times that we are refined and purified. Allow the Lord to purify and refine you because your faith is more precious than gold or silver.
We’ll have father son time, my son just bought his first car. It seems like the man in brown comes nearly everyday.