Monday, August 18, 2008

Death, Taxes, and Pedaling a Bike

A co-workers mother died a couple of days ago. She was not in great health, mostly due to poor lifestyle choices, but still it was a sudden illness and death. As I spoke to the son on the phone, I could hear the sadness and loss in his voice. Hard to lose a mother. The son and I had discussed religion, faith, and God stuff several times. The conclusion was that he and his mom had come to the decision that they really did not believe in anything, so for them, there was just life as however it was. And now, that too is gone and hope with it. Not a hope of an eternity with loved ones spent in the presence of a loving God, not a hope of a heaven, a reward, a solace from life's trials and pain. Just loss.

I too, am dying.

From the moment I was conceived, the hourglass was turned over and the sand began running. You too. We are all in a countdown to our last breath, that time to be determined later. My co-workers mom had the last grain of sand fall away and it is done. I believe that God almighty loved me enough to send an 'out' clause from a hopeless death. I accepted that deal and it is inked in blood. I have hope.

Recently I have been having odd heart beats, missing ones really, and it has been diagnosed and treatment is happening and things will be fine, no real heart issues, just the body wearing out and letting me know that my sands are pouring down as well. I have an appointment penciled in by God to be there when the last grain of sand falls, kinda like the New Years Eve ball in Times Square. Hey, maybe Dick Clark will be there too, who knows? I think he is nearly as old as God.

All this was running through my head as I pedaled easy up a lonely canyon road, closely followed by two close friends. A happy babble of conversation on politics, bike stuff, whatever, carried along with us as we moved along, mixing into the air with the sounds of birds and the crunch of tires on dirt. I had asked for mercy since I was just off my sickbed, recently taking a week off the bike due to a nifty head cold, so the pace was lighter and we stayed together all the way to the top. As daylight faded to twilight, the last 200 feet to the summit came into view. Lots of chatter behind of the sprint, the breakaway, the sneaky move, the jump. Smack talk.

Then it was on. I caught the middle ring, dropped 2 gears on the cluster and stood up. The Lev responded to the urging of the pedals and we flew. Darn fine steed, that Lev. Faster, faster, dropped another gear, nearly on the 11T now, I can hear another rider behind me, maybe two, can't tell. Then, I hear Buddy Steve's cry of frustration as he revs out and falls off the chase. Hah! That would be mine, thank you. Beware of the sick, old dude.

The rest is a blur. Banter at the top as we all watch a full moon rise, light our electric torches and drop down, skittering on the loose gravel and broken pavement. The dancing of lights down through the canyon, the whirr of freewheels, the cool air, and drinking chocolate milk on the liquor store wall as we laugh about our frailties and plan the next adventure.

This was a good night, the ride, the friends, the bikes. I know there is an hourglass somewhere with my name on it and it is relentless. Sitting amongst all the unnumbered grains of sand is one single grain, destined as the last to fall and fall it will.

Till then, there is pedaling.

And after that, there is hope.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever should believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 (from memory)

And taxes?....well, I never blog about taxes.


Anonymous said...

Mr Lev, Hard to imagine life without hope, praise God for His grace on us!!! Great blog buddy, as usual. I'm off to Colorado Fri. I pray for a safe trip for all. Take care bud and keep on pedaling!
Regards, Joe Wishard

Enel said...

Well written.