By David Edgren
Ever since he was old enough to see over the handlebars, Davy loved riding his BMX bike. On the weekends Davy would go with his family to the motocross races and watch uncle Tim race around the track. Uncle Tim was a winner and had a whole room full of trophies to prove it! It was Davy’s dream to be a professional motorcycle racer just like uncle Tim.
Every time they went to a race, Davy would ask, “Mom, can I please race motorcycles like Uncle Tim?”
“No, Honey,” Mom would answer. “I don’t want you getting hurt.”
“I won’t!” Davy would say. “I’ll be careful.”
“Careful doesn’t work on motorcycles,” Mom would say. “Uncle Tim has broken nearly every bone in his body!”
When he was eight years old, Davy started racing. But, he didn’t race motorcycles like uncle Tim. Davy raced his BMX bike on the downhill track in town.
Before his first race, Davy’s Mom was very concerned. “I don’t know about this,” she said. “You will be careful?”
“Yes, Mom!” Davy said confidently. “I’m a good rider!”
“I know,” Mom said. “But accidents happen. It’s your first race, just take it easy!”
“OK, Mom.” Davy said unconvincingly, “I will.”
As Davy lined up with the other boys for his first race, the race supervisor warned them: “Don’t take the first hill too quick. It’s steep and you can loose control if you go too fast!” The man pointed at the first corner – a large berm built up really high. “That berm will help you take the corner, but if you hit it too fast, you’ll fly right over it! So, take it slow until after the first corner. On your marks! Get set! Go!”
Davy had listened to the supervisor. But he had an idea. What if I go really fast and get ahead of everyone else? Then I’ll go up high on the berm and turn sharply down it and get even more speed! The other boys will never catch me!
It was a good plan, or so Davy thought. He torpedoed out of the starting gate and pedaled like a professional. The other boys were soon far behind. Davy shot up to the top of the berm and then turned back down into the middle of the track. It worked! He sped up even faster!
“Yahoo!” Davy yelled.
Then Davy saw the first jump. It was huge.
Before he could even think to press his brakes, Davy hit the jump and was launched like a rocket into space. Later, Davy’s dad told him he went even higher than the heads of the people watching the race. Davy really flew! But, what goes up must come down! And down Davy came – hard and fast.
Davy’s bike slammed into the ground with amazing force. Davy, being just a few milliseconds behind the bike, hit next. It was not a pretty sight. The admiring “oooohhh” from the audience changed to a concerned “ouuuchhh!” Davy, and his bike crumpled to the dirt track. Davy’s first race was over.
But that wasn’t Davy’s last race. He learned to listen and made it to the bottom of the track many times. He even won a few trophies!
Davy spent most of his free time riding his bike. He rode it to school. He rode it all day Sunday. He went on long rides with his family. And he explored tracks and built jumps near where he lived. Davy’s friends said he was a bit crazy on his bike. He attempted to jump creek-beds, hay bails and anything else he could build a ramp in front of.
One day, just when Davy was about to go for a ride, Mom stopped him.
“You be careful, Davy,” she said.
“I will, Mom,” he answered without giving it any thought.
“I’m serious, Davy.” Mom said sternly, “I don’t want you riding near the road.”
Davy squeezed the handlebar grips and looked at Mom. She had her hands on her hips. Davy knew that meant she was serious. Davy let his arms fall to his sides and mumbled, “OK. I won’t.”
Mom wasn’t convinced. “I have seen you boys going down the steep sides of the cutaway. And I don’t want you doing that.”
The main road, just a short ride from their house, had been cut through a hill and both sides worked like a massive half-pipe ramp. It was Davy and his friends’ favourite place to ride. They had carved jumps into the drainage ditches by riding over them so much. To the boys, it was the perfect BMX playground. But, it was also a long straight stretch of road on which cars often drove very fast – too fast to stop if a boy on a bike should fly out in front of them!
“Look at me, Davy,” Mom took his chin in her hand and lifted his face so her eyes were looking directly into his. “I don’t want you anywhere near that road. You could get killed.”
Davy raised his eyebrows in surprise. He raised his hands confidently and said, “Mom, I can’t die!”
Mom was amazed that Davy could look into her eyes while saying this. Clearly, he believed he was telling the truth.
“What do you mean you can’t die?” Mom asked as she stood in front of Davy, her hands now resting on his little shoulders.
“You always tell me God has great plans for my life,” Davy answered seriously, “and I haven’t done anything for Him yet!”
Mom couldn’t help it—she smiled. “Well, God does have great plans for your life,” she said with a twinkle in her eyes. “But you could still get hurt if a car hit you! Please don’t ride anywhere near the road. Please?”
Davy let out a big sigh and said, “OK, Mom.”
“You know, Davy,” Mom said, “today is part of God’s plan for your life, too. Every day is! So, be careful and look for the opportunities God gives you to do something nice for someone else.”
“I will.” Davy said as he put on his gloves and helmet.
Moments later, as Davy rode his BMX bike down the gravel driveway, he turned and waved at Mom. “Love you, Mom!” he shouted.
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” —Jeremiah 29:11
"Your story matters! Tell it well. Tell it often."
- Dave Edgren, Storyteller
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011
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