When Your Pedal Flies Off Your Bike

After two days of rushing across the country to get to my classes on time, I decided to use a new mode of transportation.

   It was the third day of my freshman year in college, and I thought it would be smart to ride my bike, which I had never used, to my classes to prevent myself from being the kid who gets stared at when walking in the door five minutes late. I unlock my bright blue bicycle from the back of the bike rack and struggle as I weave it though, up, down, and around, all the other college girl bikes.

I align myself in the direction of my destination and hop on to the seat. I begin to play with the gears because pedaling the bike 100mph wasn’t making me move any faster than my feet would. Finally, I begin to travel with ease. I am ten, 15, 20 feet away from my dorm when my left foot slides under me with nothing to rest it on. The pedal of my bike flies off and plops right in the middle of the street.

I pull over to the sidewalk, push the kickstand out with my toes, and pick up the piece of my broken master plan.

Instead of getting to my class sooner, I hardly made it. I walked my bike to the nearest bike rack, shoved the gaudy pedal in my backpack, and hurried inside before I felt like an utter fool.

In class that day, I learned that a student in my journalism class had also had experience with brokenness. She was in a car accident roughly a year ago, and a laptop slammed into her face at an ungodly speed, requiring the entire lower half of her face to be completely reconstructed and put back together.

She looks perfect now. I’m sure her face looks very similar as it had before. She doesn’t act different than others, and she doesn’t not fit in with others in the school. No one would ever know she had been broken unless she told her story.

That evening, I met a new friend who was able to fix my bicycle for me. He brought his tool box over and investigated ways to try to put the peddle back on permanently. We drove to the hardware store and even bought some special glue. In the end, it turned out that all we needed to do was screw the peddle back on to the bike. No tools or special glue was needed.

My bike was useful again, and it looked good as new, just as that student had after her accident.

   I believe we all have been broken. Sometimes we are going through life our way and lose parts of ourselves along the road. We constantly busy ourselves with careers, school, and our social lives, peddling 100mph only to lose our energy. Sometimes we get that golden job that offers top notch salary, only to make us miserable, bitter, and lose the sweet side of humanity.

I believe we all have been broken by a loss, a heart ache, or a simple mistake. Sometimes we are driving through life without a care in the world. We have the perfect friends, perfect job, and perfect plans until something stops us in our tracks.

I believe that though all of us have been broken, all of us have fallen short, and all of us have screwed up and lost  pieces of the person God created us to be, a person in his image, we can still be put back together again. I believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and washed all of our mistakes away, and I believe that he makes us new again.

I believe that sometimes we try to fix our problems ourselves. We bring out our tool box and special glue to repair the broken marriage, damaged friendships, or holes in our faith. We try to nail love back into a relationship or fill our questions in faith with glue found somewhere else when, really, Jesus is the screw that holds us tight – secure together and secure with Him. Like continuous threads on a screw is Christ’s love for us.

That is what makes us new.

Love is what puts our pieces back in working order.

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