“No!” screamed Charles, “this is a bike rally, and they must know, that we are here!”
It was three am on that icy winter morning, and he was revving his motorcycle at full throttle. The roar of its exhausts, cut through the crisp night air and reverberated through the town. I finally managed to turn off his motorcycle and a deafening silence permeated the air. Peace at last!
At the rally site, he had consumed a bottle of rum and a few tots of coke and was in no state to walk, so I carried him to his room, where he fell into a drunken stupor. Peace at last, as I tried to get some sleep.
Having been a biker for thirty-six years, I have mellowed with age, and now ride with a motorcycle club called Ulysses. The club is for the older biker, the minimum age being forty. Our motto is “Grow Old Disgracefully” and the members tend to live up to that motto. As the Christian, and non-drinker in our group, I was expected to baby-sit Charles, when we attend the various motorcycle rallies that are held around our beautiful country.
Charles was a total hooligan, whose whole philosophy for life was, “live for today because tomorrow I may die!” As with most of the white males in South Africa our age, Charles is a product of the bush war that we fought for twenty years. The horror of that prolonged war has left us all with physical and emotional scars. We all have excess baggage and while some of us have been able to deal with the past, others like Charles, have great difficulty in doing so. Alcoholism and drug abuse are the most common throwbacks to that era, along with a restlessness that’s hard to describe.
Awaking at six am, I found him standing over me. He had a hangover of note and needed coffee. The only coffee available was at the rally site where the Christian Motorcycle Association (C.M.A.) had a 24 hour coffee tent. Therefore, we mounted our motorcycles and headed into town. Fresh coffee was brewing, and we thankfully gulped down a mug. Paul, the Pastor of the C.M.A. started talking to Charles, and so I left them to chat, while I reclined in a comfortable chair and observed the comings and goings at the rally site.
Paul is an enigma. He is a large man with a shaved head; his body is full of tattoos and piercing’s. He has a testimony of note, having come out of the bush war as badly damaged goods. He has tried just about everything possible in life, and met Jesus while incarcerated. On his release from prison, he joined the Christian biker club and for the past twenty years has been their pastor. What impressed me the most was his gentile spirit and how he counseled Charles. Charles could relate to Paul and that morning, he gave his life to Jesus. Praise the Lord as I moved from “babysitter” to disciple.
As a Christian, I am regularly challenged as to why I don’t ride with the C.M.A. My reply is simple, Jesus instructed us to go after the lost sheep which is hard to do when you ride with the “saved”. I choose to ride with my bunch of reprobates because I believe, that by them observing my life, I am more able to convince them that there is a better way to live. They are hardcore people, who are looking for the truth. They already know the highway to hell, and as they approach their twilight years, they are seeking the road less traveled.
After the rally, we rode out of town in a pack, with the rolling thunder of our exhausts for company. In the rising suns warm glow, I reflected on the fact, that I never ride alone, I ride with Jesus, and I began to sing.
“Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.”
Paul describes discipleship best when he said, “I became all things, to all men, that some may be saved.” Ride on, sweet Spirit, ride on, the fields are full and the harvest awaits.
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