Monday, June 4, 2007

This Incredible Life

We didn't quite make it to Miami today. We stopped off in Boynton Beach (about 50 miles north of Miami). This was the plan all along. I just didn't know it! It's weird not setting my own schedule and having to entrust others with the daunting task of how my time is spent. I mean, what if they don't allocate enough time for me to save the world? The "road captain" tells us what time we will meet for breakfast in the morning; when we will meet for our Bible study; what time we will set off from the hotel, and on and on. Man, it seems the only thing not planned for me on this trip is when I go to the bathroom. But these are some of the rigors of the road and I am content to not have to worry about my own schedule for one week. We were supposed to have set out from Daytona Beach at 10.00am this morning, however, someone's bike developed a problem that had us sitting in the Daytona Harley dealership (the worlds largest Harley store) for more than three hours while the problem was being fixed. Mind you, I can think of a lot worse places to have had to spend three hours.

It turned out to be a really good thing, as we spent the time getting to know some of the other guys on the bike trip that we aren't quite as familiar with. I got to talk to a guy who has buried five family members in the last two years. His 17-year-old son was killed by a drunk driver two years ago. Last year both his parents were also killed by a drunk driver. In january this year he was diagnosed with a debilitating terminal disease (I forget the medical term used to describe his condition), and told to get his affairs in order. He was informed, rather matter-of-factly, that he may or may not live to see Christmas '07. As his condition has continued to deteriorate, he finds himself now needing to walk with a cane. He is, however, one of the most joyful people I have ever met. Constantly laughing and joking, he is convinced that God's plan for his life isn't fulfilled yet and so he isn't about to die soon. He came on the bike trip (though he moves with extreme difficulty and is in constant pain) because he wanted to be around godly men who could pray for and encourage him.

Godly men? I felt like such a whiner! I often think I am in dire straits with the stuff I have to contend with until I meet guys like Andy. Suddenly, in comparison, it is obvious that my life is relatively easy, and that instead of focusing entirely on my small universe and the pressures I face, I need to be about the business that has been appointed for me by God: Loving people and impacting their lives for the better. Parent's shouldn't have to bury their kids! In the Nigerian culture, if a child dies prematurely, the parents aren't allowed to attend the funeral, because traditionally a parent is not meant to see their childs corpse. I am praying for Andy daily this week. After all, it's not as if I'm busy doing a ton else. Why, I don't even have to set my own schedule! I'll speak to you from Key West tomorrow. And, oh, if you remember, and you can carve out the time, please send up a prayer for Andy too!