Foundations

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    Sunny and 60 degrees today. Riding season is upon us. It's time to shake "cabin fever," get the wind in our faces, and begin that summer biker tan. (Back on the farm, we called it a farmer's tan. You don't really think that city folk came up with the label red neck, do you?)

 

    If you have enjoyed the sport of riding a motorcycle for very long, you know that certain functions must be checked before riding. Those of us who ride year round are charged with the responsibility of keeping up with functionality year round.

 

    I heard "the crack of dawn" a while ago and now see the first glimpse of another beautiful sunrise in Booger Bottom. The first flowers of early spring have bloomed out and the next round is about to explode with beauty.

 

    Back to riding: Battery Tender. If your bike has been in storage for a time, you just might discover the importance of a fresh battery. Consider plugging in and hooking up before you get ready for the morning.

 

    Air pressure: tires can lose air pressure. Just ask Charlie. He thought that the rear end seemed a bit squabbly. A tire gauge registered 16 pounds or so in that tire! The problems included a beautiful country road with no service station close by and no pumps on anyone's bike. Thankfully, the problem was solved without injury to person or machine.

 

    Lighting: Head light working? Tail light/braking lights? How about those turn signals? Many riders still use arm signals. Arm signals are more obvious to "cagers" as the drivers of those vehicles fail to pay attention to bikers anyway---though that failure is not with malice most of the time.

 

    Fluid levels: Have you checked those levels? Have you changed fluids lately? Something to think about. You might immediately think of oil levels, but what about brake fluids? Stopping your bike seems important as you quickly approach an intersection or a vehicle turning in front of you. I still remember the first bike I had with disk brakes. Loved the stopping power. Then, while riding in the rain one day, an intersection lay ahead. Brakes applied--no stopping. Back then, the brake pads had to heat the disk and wipe away the water in order to stop. Fortunately, when stopping power arrived, the bike did not skid on the wet road. I was riding in an upright position and did not lock the brakes. I also kept the bike in a straight line. "It pays to pay attention."

 

    The list goes on. Just stop and think before you get on that wonderful machine the first time this spring. As fun as these machines are, they also subject the rider to more opportunities for hurt if something goes wrong. Face it, we are not as protected as that NASCAR driver. That driver can roll multiple times, hit a wall head on, crash with other vehicles, and walk away most of the time. Possibly part of the fun of biking is subjecting ourselves to risks and smiling when we walk away.

 

    Let's say all goes wrong on a ride and you are hit head on by an 18 wheeler. You know who is going to lose that collision. Let's say that you are killed instantly. I sure hope that you had a good foundation laid in your relationship with God before the crash.

 

    I was blessed to be raised in a God fearing home. We had supper together every night. Before anyone began to eat, Daddy "said grace." It didn't matter that he said the same prayer for every meal. The foundation was laid in that we had supper together and he said grace---every day. The importance of family together and praying was learned.

 

    Daddy taught Sunday School----still has a class named after him even though he has been with the Lord for years. Every Sunday morning saw Daddy alone in the living room praying, meditating, readying himself to teach. Well, he was by himself until I came into the room. I learned the importance of preparing for the day.

 

    Daddy sang in the choir--had a wonderful bass voice. Then he sang with the Pineville Male Chorus. Any time I hear an all male choir, I rejoice in that gift that Daddy gave us---that of using your gifts to honor God.

 

    Naturally, Mama gave us more instruction in life as she was with us more. She also experienced more frustration with us three, if for no other reason, she was with us more. She exposed us to things that us "country bumpkins" would not usually see. She had a different upbringing. Her parents lived in Baltimore in the summer and Eustis, FL in the winter and she wanted us to see that life existed outside Pleasant Valley and Indian Land. She laid a foundation of realizing that we can "get outside ourselves" and we can explore.

 

    Our family devotion time would have been when we all sat around the supper table or when we all sat on the front porch after dark in the summer. We heard the sounds of night as there was not much traffic on 521 after dark then. We saw our first falling stars, we learned that not everyone has a beautiful voice! We talked about our lives and what was going on. We did not have formal Bible reading, but passing years tells me that the Holy Spirit was with us--laying that foundation.

 

    Foundations are necessary for success. Success is subjective to each of us. Maybe your foundation was different. Many have had better than our family did. Each of us has the opportunity every day to lay foundations---for ourselves, for the next generations, for those around us.

 

    "If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?" Psalm 11: 3

 

    How is your foundation? Is it strong? Is it expanding? Are you laying a good foundation to your lineal descendants, and to those around you?

 

    Be a blessing to someone today.