While we have free will and can and do make bad choices some times, if we seek to follow God's will for us, He will work things out for our ultimate good, even if we can't see it at the moment.
So how does this apply to my life, as it relates specifically to motorcycling? Glad you asked ....
Much of my life has been controlled by fear, and even as a (relatively new) Christian, fear can still creep in. If our faith in God was perfect, we would have no fear. But, I don't think any Christian has perfect faith. We're human, therefore not perfect.
I'll admit I was very nervous about buying my 2002 Harley Dyna Wide Glide. Yes, at first, I was more nervous than excited about it. Even though Roland, an experienced Harley guy, helped me check out the bike, I was still fearful I was about to buy a lemon, since I couldn't test ride it due to poor road conditions where the bike was for sale. After talking to the owner, though, my gut had a good feeling, and I decided to buy it based on his word that the bike shifted and rode well.
Even after I completed the deal last Saturday, I feared, "What if the bike turns out to be stolen?" Since the bike had an out-of-state title and was newer than 10 years old, my state's registry of motor vehicles requires a V.I.N. check at a police department. I had fears the V.I.N. would come up stolen, the bike would be seized and I'd be out nearly $8,000. Yes, my mind sometimes tends to think of worst-case scenarios.
Monday, we had a good, soaking rain, which washed whatever salt remained on the roads where I live (the snow had melted several days earlier). My plan was to go to the main Rhode Island registry and get a temporary registration plate, so I could then ride the bike to a police department for a V.I.N. check. Then, I had a few weeks to register the bike and pay the sales tax.
Usually, I am in and out of the main registry within an hour, but for some reason, the place was mobbed Monday. I pulled ticket #693 when I arrived at 11 a.m., but they were only on #430. I went out for lunch and did some errands, but when I returned around 1:45 p.m., they were only up to about #530, so there was clearly no chance of them getting to me by the time they closed at 3:15 p.m. So I wasted a trip, and was in a funk the rest of the day. That was the result of my plan.
Now, this is where God's plan came together where my plan failed:
- First, I had received a check for $500 on Monday for some previous plumbing work I had done (an amount that nearly covered the sales tax).
- Second, I went to the registry branch in Middletown, R.I. this morning and had only a half-hour wait.
- Third, the female clerk who waited on me and issued a temporary plate was very helpful. She suggested I come back today, get the V.I.N. check at the Middletown Police Department, which was right next door, and then pop into the registry branch again, where I would not have to wait since I had been there earlier in the day.
- Fourth, by the time I got home from my first trip to the registry, the sun and wind had dried the roads, which had been wet from the day before.
- Fifth, I got to ride my bike for the very first time, and it ran as well as the seller said. I did not break down in the middle of the Newport Bridge, as my fear factory of a mind had worried. Nor did I get pulled over by any police.
- Sixth, there was no problem with the V.I.N. check (the civilian employee was friendly too).
- Seventh, I returned to the registry, paid the sales tax and completed the registration. I even remembered to bring all the correct documents!
Yes, God's plans are better than any plans we could imagine! I need to learn to trust Him more!