“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
– 2nd Corinthians 3:17
Freedom. Land of the free. Free from persecution, free from fear, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from sin. Freedom isn’t free. Freedom machine!
We’ve heard it our whole life. We grew up with it. We learned it young, sitting on the side of the road on the 4th of July watching the veterans march by behind the color guard. If we were still sitting as the colors went by we got a smack on the head. And don’t you dare have your hat on!
As Americans, and as Christians, freedom has been with us since birth. But as I look around I wonder, do we actually know what it means? Some would say that you can’t understand freedom until you’ve had it taken from you. And i can understand that. Many of us will never know what it actually means to be free because we don’t know what we’re bound to. Many of us will give up our freedom in the name of security and safety. Many people wonder what a biker means when she says, “I love riding motorcycles because you feel the freedom that comes with it.” Many of those people are bound to their fear, not of the motorcycle, but the fear of the loss of security that a cage brings.
I grew up a Christian, and have heard about freedom in everything church related. Freedom from sin, freedom to worship, freedom to meet with God, and on and on. But what do these mean? Some say that Jesus has freed us from the binds of sin, but then feel tremendous guilt when they swear. Do they really feel freedom from sin, or is the guilt proof that their still allowing that sin to rule over them? Sounds more like behavioral conditioning than freedom. Some go to a certain church for the freedom to worship, but then can’t worship in a traditional-liturgical setting. Is that worship really free? Still sounds like conditioned acceptance. What about freedom to pray and meet with God, but every prayer is a happy monologue about all of God’s blessings instead of voicing real frustrations and anger about what’s happening? Sometimes I have to cuss out a project I’m working on because it’s not cooperating…I call this violent and aggressive prayer.
I think that the greatest hindrance to our freedom is ourselves. We put up false pretenses to live by made-up rules, in an imaginary culture, to live up to make-believe socio-economic standings. And the worst part, we don’t just let it happen, we initiate it. We keep ourselves from living in and learning a deeper understanding of freedom by trying to “fake it to make it”. In order to grow, to progress, it is absolutely vital to be honest about who we are, where we are, when we are. If we can’t do this, then we’re living an imaginary life for some future place tat may or may not even happen. And we all know that the best laid plans balance on the knife’s edge. Some of us are so focused on what’s to come, that we totally forget to live that life that we’re currently living. Some of us are so focused on our salvation and afterlife, that we ignore the freedom we have to live our lives, where we’re at, with the people we’re around, in the time that we live.
We rode Henderson at a moment’s notice. Sam called and said our plans to ride and shoot the following week had fallen through. We needed to reschedule. I called our cameraman and he was out of state. So we did what we always do, just make it work.
“Where are we going to do it.”
“How about Henderson?”
“Sounds good, see you in the morning.”
We rode into the small town not sure how anything was going to work, but our plans were to get something shot. Henderson has beautiful twisties and valleys. The buildings in town are some of the oldest in the state. Well kept and a giant old school mural painted on the side of one of the buildings. The town might be only a speck on the map, but they’re honest about who they are. There’s no pretense. They have one gas station, one restaurant, one bar, some cool buildings, and great views. Plus, the drive to get there runs you down US 169 along the Minnesota River. Simply put, 169 from Le Sueur to Mankato is one of the best rides in the state.
Henderson is what it is, and they find their freedom in being that. Are you who you are? Are you trying to be a “biker” and therefore bound to that stereotype? What if we just loved riding because we loved riding? What if we just worked on being honest with ourselves as to who we are and what’s important to us instead of trying to live up to some unattainable false image of ourselves? Wouldn’t that be freeing? Wouldn’t that be more gospel than the weight of the guilt that we feel when we sin? Wouldn’t that be more like what Jesus was teaching than a militaristic compliance to a law that Jesus came to fulfill?
As always, keep the rubber side down, and watch out for the cagers. Ride safe.
Here’s the conundrum…my wife is two weeks from her due date, and I was on call this weekend with my regular job, BUT, it was also one of the best days this summer had produced. Mid 70’s, bright blue sky, and Rage KaGe ready to put some miles on. What’s a boy to do. Compromise, that’s what you do.
Before I had even ridden a motorcycle, I knew that I liked them. I liked how they looked, I liked how they sounded, and I liked the idea of them. I read about motorcycles, and I talked to people about them…I had a pretty good understanding of everything pertaining to the entire motorcycle industry.
My first motorcycle was a beast. It was loud, it was fast, and it was a hack job. I think I fixed it more than I rode it. The speedometer didn’t work, the brake light didn’t work, not to mention you had to take half the bike apart to reach the battery and other vital components of a motorcycle.