Jesus, Faith, and Motorcycles

Wes Seliger is an unconventional Episcopal pastor.  He loves risk-taking adventure, adrenaline-pumping activities and motorcycles!  He tells about being in a motorcycle shop one day, drooling over a new Harley-Davidson, wishing that he could buy it.  A salesman came over and started his “pitch”.  He talked about speed and acceleration, excitement, the growl of the pipes, racing and risk.  He described the thrill of leaning into the curves on country roads.

Then he discovered that Wes was a minister – and guess what happened? Immediately the salesman changed his language and even the tone of his voice.  He spoke quietly, even reverently.  He spoke about good gas mileage and visibility. When you thought about it, a Harley was indeed a “practical” vehicle.

Wes observed: “Salesmen pitching lawnmowers are not surprised at all to find pastors looking at their merchandise but motorcycle salesmen are.  Why?”

Doesn’t this tell us something about pastors and even people of faith in general?  Lawnmowers are slow, safe, and practical. Motorcycles are dangerous, wild, and thrilling. Then Wes asks this question: “Is being a Christian more like mowing the lawn or riding a motorcycle?  Is the Christian life safe and reasonable or is it dangerous and exciting?”  He concludes, “The common image of man is that faith is pure lawnmower – slow, deliberate, and plodding.

In contrast, Jesus challenges us to take our walk with Him out on the open road, give it the gas, hear the roar of the pipes, and see what that baby will do!  So, let’s examine our lives in view of this question – is my faith a ride on a lawn mower or a motorcycle?

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