Slow Ride, Clear Head, Pure Heart

Bering Drive Jeff ChristianIt wasn’t just because the weather was perfect this morning. It wasn’t about short sleeves and comfortable boots and a throttle that just begs to be twisted. It was about the heart.

Non-motorcylists think that those of us who are crazy enough to put two wheels surrounded by metal filled with flammable liquids between our legs are speed freaks. And while there is no denying the thrill of acceleration that no car can hope to match, some days (like today) are all about a slow ride.

Slow ride. Take it easy.

Some days you need to take your time. Enjoy the smells, the sounds, the low clouds rolling in off the Gulf of Mexico as they lilt above you. Meditate on your joys, hopes, and fears, and then forget them all and just go. Clear head.

This has been a hard week, one of those weeks that choose you. You don’t have a say in the matter. But for the past few days, while trying to stave off the demons of anxiety and worry, I have held on tight to that 800 pound mass of metal, and to an ancient teaching about purity of heart.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8) Some more conservative Bible types than me would probably argue that Jesus is talking about a puritanical brand of morality here where everyone sits around drinking warm water, wearing polyester suits, and sitting in folding metal chairs. I have been in those settings. And trust me, they are no fun. I could never get into a religion of avoidance whose primary goal was to articulate how bad everything is.

No, I think “pure heart” means keeping it open to the possibilities that God is in more places than we think. It’s about maintaining the eyes of our childhood, eyes of wonder, belief in miracles, and the innocence of thinking God is always right around the corner. It’s about believing that God makes good on an ancient promise to always be with us, especially during those weeks when God’s silence is painfully overwhelming.