Thursday, March 08, 2007
The Pavement Always Wins
I ride a motorcycle. My friends ride motorcycles and my sons ride motorcycles - not those sissy, little putt-putt units designed to get 600 miles per gallon. We ride large, fast, pavement eating, all-day-long-large-displacement-move-your-tail-two-wheeled-monsters! OK, I just thought it would be cool just to write that and think of that guy with the LARGE (and fake!) voice that advertises MONSTERJAM at the Tacoma dome…
Now for real, I like to ride and my friends like to ride. We ride every weekend once the wet edge of winter turns to the hopefully sunny weather of spring, through the summer, clear up to Thanksgiving – if there is no snow. I like the speed, the wind, the personal time, and the way the machine just works. I also enjoy how that sport / hobby draws people together in appreciation of God's creative genius seen in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and in the beauty of the different personalities that we experience when we ride as a group. There is one lesson I've learned, that I want to pass along to you: THE PAVEMENT ALWAYS WINS!
Whether you ride or not, maybe you can imagine what it's like when bike and rider crash to the pavement at any rate of speed – the faster the speed, the more dramatic and traumatic the result. I've ridden street bikes since I was senior at Kentridge High School. (Don't ask when that was!) In all my years of riding and hearing all the stories of others losing control, or doing something stupid behind the bars, or being the victim of someone in a car doing something stupid - which is most often the case - I've NEVER heard or seen the pavement bleed! I've never heard it complain or cry! I've never seen the pavement need repair or a long period of convalescence because a motorcycle and rider crashed onto its tender surface! THE PAVEMENT ALWAYS WINS!
So it is with the way of foolishness. The fool is the one who will never admit that THE PAVEMENT ALWAYS WINS! The book of Proverbs is one of the greatest sources of wisdom on the planet. Even those who profess to be of an 'anti-god,' 'no-god' or 'detached creator' theological persuasion can glean miles of wisdom from its pages if they approach it with an open mind. One of the major themes of this little powerful tome is the contrast between the wise person and foolish person. Wise people are humble. Foolish people are arrogant. Wise people like themselves, but they don't coddle themselves like the foolish who engage in varied degrees of narcissism.
Proverbs teaches that wise people think before they act. They seek wise counsel and submit to the laws of the land. They learn to control their anger and their impulses. They value relationships above possessions, and character over appearance. Wise people fear God. One will also learn that foolish people submit only to their own law. They follow other fools. They use and abuse relationships. People are a means to their personal ends. They never see the need for the counsel of others. They engage in anarchy – at least passive anarchy. Their impulses and their anger control them, and they hang out with the same kind of people. They think that pleasure is the goal of life's gifts. AND foolish people act as if there is no God to whom one day they will give account! Long before Solomon wrote and assembled the Proverbs, his father, King David, wrote that, "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'" (Ps 14:1; 53:1) Now we all act foolish once in awhile, and we will continue to do so at times, but the truly foolish continue in their folly with no thought toward the day when the "pavement" of life will catch up with them.
So, to those who wish to avoid the perils of foolishness and wonder why fools seem to never get what's coming to them, concentrate on your own road. To the others who made it this far - by nature, revelation and experience - I have news for the fool: THE PAVEMENT ALWAYS WINS!