Virtually no experience, maybe four minutes of training, and here they were, three kids charging up the Himalayas on quads.
O.K., so they were only hills—they were steep ones.
My brother-in-law invited us out to his place on the Colorado River for the weekend. Dads and kids. Dirt, water, and fun. Bill brought his daughter, but his boy wasn’t able to make it, so we brought Tim, a buddy of Alec’s. That made four teens, three of whom were brand new to this stuff.
Let the games begin.
There was something very primal about it—especially for the boys. They seemed totally without fear as they charged up the 90-degree-ish slopes. It was all full throttle, hard into the turns, go-go-go.
Later, on the water, they clung fiercely to the inner tube as they got dragged, skipped and pummeled behind the boat. My brother-in-law called them “Chargers.”
I like that.
I even got a little of that feeling myself, behind the wheel of Bill’s on-the-fly-four-wheel-drive-go-anywhere-and-beat-the-snot-out-of-a-dune-buggy machine. I was utterly invincible in that thing.
Oh, there were some bumps and bruises. Carissa chose to depart from her inner tube at top speed, just for kicks. Let me just say that she launched gracefully from the speeding raft, floated gently out over the river, and alit upon the water like a delicate rose petal drifting down to the dewy grass.
Please…let me just say that.
I managed to stay on the inner tube, but only through the strength of my mighty arms, and because Bill took mercy and chose not to pitch the old man into the water. He was probably afraid I’d drown, and he’d have to answer to his sister, my bride.
Tim had the spill of the weekend. As he charged up the hill on his quad, he began to drift ever so slightly from the path. This brought his vehicle into contact with a rather large rock, which caused him to veer sharply across the face of the hill. He held on manfully as he careened through uncharted territory for about twenty feet—at which point he encountered a sizeable bush.
Abrupt end of ride. It was an awesome tumble, though.
Tim had his gear on—chest protector, helmet, gloves, goggles—and emerged with just bumps, bruises, a bit lip and a great story.
Now, I want you to go back, put your spiritual glasses on, and reread that part about Tim. He was charging along, facing challenges. He began to drift, ever so slightly, from the path that was set for him. This brought him into contact with an obstacle that he never would have had to deal with if he had stayed on the path. The rock threw him out of control and into a situation he simply couldn’t handle.
But, he had his armor on (a la Ephesians 6), so he emerged bruised but unbroken.
Oi, the spiritual lessons.
I want to be a spiritual charger. I want to be the husband and father of spiritual chargers. I want to strap myself in and barrel along the path of faith, knowing that in Christ I am unstoppable. I want to worship at full throttle, catching air and waking up the next morning spiritually sore and achy. I want to take risks for the Kingdom, knowing that I have my armor on, and I may get bloodied, but not broken. I want to ride in the wake of his awesome power, holding on for dear life and trusting that my merciful God will not pitch me into water too deep for me.
What would that look like in my life?
What would that look like in yours?