I’ll never forget the day I bought my first motorcycle. A 1985 Honda Rebel.
I had wanted to ride a motorcycle for a long time. When I was young, my brother had a 500 cc Honda Shadow. During the summer months, every time I’d see him take off down our street on that bike I’d get a little jealous. I wanted a motorcycle so bad! Alas, the practical side of not being able to ride it in the winter kept my interest at bay.
Then one day, I finally bought myself a motorcycle. I feel that it was still a practical decision, as I went with a 250 cc, 1985 Honda Rebel. Yep, you’re right. A 250 cc motorcycle is just about the smallest bike on the market that’s still street-legal. At that moment I didn’t care. I finally had my motorcycle.
Since getting a motorcycle, there is one aspect of being a bike-owner that gets better with every ride: The motorcycle wave. I never would have guessed that by simply owning a motorcycle, I would be brought into this wonderful two-wheeled community.
For those of you who are not familiar with this greeting, it can be described as a small downward wave performed at the side of the motorcyclist’s body. Generally, it is executed with the rider’s clutch (or left) hand, with a swift, downward flick of the wrist while riders pass. In addition, many times the wave is completed with two fingers and thumb loosely extended.
There’s a pride in this shared-wave that seems to communicate, “Yeah, that’s right. We’re on motorcycles, which means we’re risk-takers.” This wave seems to recognize the few who have chosen to travel without shelter from the elements, nor protection from dangers of the open road.
All this being said, not every two-wheeler receives the same respect. From what I understand, scooter owners are not eligible for the same warm welcome. Though they experience the same elemental forces and road-danger risks, the riding community isn’t ready to embrace them.
It’s almost like they’re that 2nd or 3rd cousin that no one is really able to place in the family tree. Everyone knows they’re related somehow, but no one’s ready to fully claim them. Perhaps, they create their own wave? I guess they could use their feet since they’re not encumbered by foot-braking or changing gears. The cool-factor would definitely be missing, but then again they are riding a scooter. What can they really expect?
On a more serious note, I’ve often considered the riding community (scooters included) as a comparison to the Body of Christ. We all understand that there are definite risks in accepting and embracing Jesus Christ, when so many struggle believing in Him. Much like the riding community, if we meet and it is made known that both parties are Believers, the community is established immediately.
Of course, there are always those motorcyclist that only ride during sunny Sunday afternoons. Much like Christianity, these Sunday-riders are in the community, but there are always looming questions about whether or not they really desire to be in the community. Perhaps, they just like the appearance of being on the inside but have no true desire to make this community part of their lifestyle.
Furthermore, some people are so committed that they’d be willing to take risks. Much like the motorcyclist who is willing to ride in rain or shine, committed Christians will stay steadfast to the community through good times and bad. It reminds me of James 1:2-3, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.“
Our challenge is to reflect on our current participation in the Body of Christ. Have we been taking risks and serving faithfully, whether rain or shine? Or, have we been playing it safe and riding the sunny Sunday pew?