The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (NIV)
Balance is very important when riding on a motorcycle. After years of experience, husband knows how to keep the bike rolling down the road safely. While sometimes, I might be anxious, like when a turkey walked out in front of us on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I have only been truly afraid that we were about to die once. It was when we rented a BMW motorcycle in Wyoming, loaded it up with luggage and took off on the mountain roads with no guardrails. The first time husband pulled off onto an overlook, he did not anticipate that the surface would be gravel nor that the weight of the unfamiliar bike would be so hard to stop. I still have nightmares about going over a cliff though he swears we were not in as much danger as I think we were. On his own motorcycle which he is comfortable and well practiced, I do not worry about his skill though other motorists occasionally give me a scare. I know that husband can keep us in balance. He knows just the right angle to lean on curves. He anticipates stopping and how much force will be behind our speed. But, I have to do my share to help by not working against him on turns or braking. When we go around a corner, I match my body to his leaning only as far as he does. When I want to take pictures, I have to be careful not to reach too far out or back. When we are stopped at a traffic light, I cannot shift my weight suddenly causing the bike to lean unexpectedly. And when we have ridden for a long distance, though it is tempting to move from side to side to relieve my stiff muscles and aching butt, I must stay still. When my foot cramps from staying on the foot pegs, I cannot extend my leg to stretch it no matter how much I would like to. I also have to be careful to pack our luggage evenly in the saddlebags and avoid the temptation to bring too much stuff. Travelling lightly is the key to being able to maneuver the motorcycle quickly and efficiently. Yes, balance is critical to returning from a motorcycle trip safe and sound. But, balance is also important in negotiating through the difficulties that our relationships throw at us. I am reading a book by Randy Alcorn called, The Grace and Truth Paradox. Alcorn states that many Christians are either all about grace or all about the law or truth. We either preach God’s love and mercy and the gift of salvation freely given or we speak judgment and condemnation. To be like Jesus we need to be willing to confront the hard truths about heaven and hell and hold people accountable for their actions, but also to extend mercy, compassion and love to all we encounter. It is a balancing act that takes practice and experience to do well.