Solace in the Saddle

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January has been a chaotic, tumultuous beginning to the new year. Our new president was inaugurated amidst loud cheering and at times louder jeering. Protests, riots, violence, destruction, mostly perpetrated by the leftist “Love Trumps Hate” crowds, have filled the 24-hour news cycle. The establishment media and Hollywood elitists have attacked new president Trump and his family, relentlessly and recklessly.

Civility seems to have died a slow, painful death in America.

In my own life and family, each of us feels as though we’ve been running 100mph since the holidays, dealing with demands  and struggles at home and in our respective workplaces. 2017 has been a sprint from day one.

Here in north central Georgia, we’ve experienced unusually mild weather for January, much of the month giving us daytime highs in the mid 60s to low 70s. I’ve taken advantage of these when time and margin allowed, and done quite a lot of motorcycle riding for this time of year. As I had opportunity to share with Ron & Craven on “Born to Ride Radio” recently, riding is more than a pastime I enjoy- motorcycling is therapeutic for me. The open road before me, the sights, sounds, smells, sensations, all envelope me, fill me, soothe me. I am in total control of the bike, of myself, and am totally immersed in the experience of gliding through time and space on two wheels, exposed to the elements. Riding brings all my senses to bear, all my skills, experience, training, reflexes. And yet I find I’m completely calm, relaxed, almost one with the motorbike. It’s almost hypnotic to me.

Physically, my breathing slows, my heart rate relaxes, even my blood pressure drops. I pray, sing, contemplate, soak in the environment surrounding me. Riding untangles me, like few other endeavors do. I find solace in the saddle, in the solitude, of a long ride through the rolling countryside around our home.

I’m thankful for the ability and opportunity to ride, and I don’t take it for granted. Motorcycling centers me, calms me, draws my heart closer to my Savior. And I’m acutely aware I could lose it all, in an instant. So I ride grateful, humble.

In our crazy world, in our own busy lives, we all should pause more, pull aside, and find solace in solitude.

“The Lord is my Shepherd , I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Psalm 23

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