REFLECTIONS JULY 2021 BY JACK APPLEBAUM

THINGS BREAK

With the events of the past eighteen months, I’m reminded of an article that I wrote a long time ago for a newsletter of the Northern Virginia Christian Riders (a Chapter of the CMA).  Some things just don’t seem to change.  They might get more intense, but they don’t really change.

Things break.  During Daytona Bike Week many years ago, this became repeatedly apparent to me in a non-serious but annoying way.  Frankly, I’m not totally certain of the order, but I did begin to start writing down the breakage events, since I suspected a pattern.  So, here is most of what broke:

  • A bracket that held my intercom to my helmet,
  • The buckle on a waist pack,
  • The clip on the case that held my cell phone,
  • A water bottle clip, and
  • A pen clip.

All of these items had a couple of things in common.  They were plastic, which is, to me, the quintessential man-made material, and they were designed to hold things together or, at least, close to me in an orderly fashion.

I know that man-made things don’t last, but this particular round of failures while at Bike Week seemed to be driving the point home for me.  I am convinced of God’s Word and do believe that “all things work for the good for them that love the Lord.”  I was, in fact, getting several opportunities to fix things (something guys like me like to do), without being devastated by serious mechanical failures far from home.  I was laughing a bit after the third or so break, and with each progressive failure.

So, was there a lesson here for me?  The obvious one, to me, was in Jesus’ statement that “heaven and earth will pass away, but my word will never pass away.”  I’ve been through serious mechanical failures far from home.  By God’s grace, I’m still here.  As you are reading this, you’re still here despite Covid, cicadas, and dumb little shortages (caused by hoarding) of toilet paper and gas.

Where should I draw the line on what’s important – from a broken cell phone case to a broken water pump on my car?  When is it a critical failure – from a pen clip to a bike that won’t start?

Jesus told us how the challenges in our lives could be far easier to endure.  He told us where our focus should be – on Him.  When Jesus Christ is our focus, the man-made stuff of the world will seem, and often becomes, so temporary in nature.  Also, for an eternity, God will hold the most important things together – our very souls – as we fellowship with Him and worship Him.  No material on Earth, plastic, chrome or otherwise, can do that.

“In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”  (Proverbs 3:6, KJV)

IHS,  Jack


Jack has been riding motorcycles for over 40 years.  His current ride is a ’99 Road King which he plans to keep at least until he gets a black plate on it.  Jack rides with the Manassas Harley Owners Group and the Christian Motorcycles Association.  He is a retired engineer and has been an amateur magician for over 50 years since no one would pay him enough to do it professionally. Jack manages to look less like the nerd that he is when riding his Harley.


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