I spent the summers of 2004 and 2005 in Goettingen, Germany doing research for my Master’s thesis. It was a very interesting (and challenging) time in my life. It was also a time where I found myself growing closer to God. While there, I wrote a few short, inspirational articles and I want to share them with you. So without further ado, here goes . . .
My Bike Story
When i first arrived in Germany in may, I was told that I would be given a bike that I could use to get me around in the little town of Goettingen. I thought that was a nice gesture from the professors here at the Georg August University. When it was time for me to get the bike, the professor here told me that I had two options. I could either take an old female’s bike that was functioning but didn’t look “cool” or I could go to the room in the back where there were some unused bikes that needed fixing and fix one up.
When we went to see the old female’s bike, I thought to myself: “you have got to be kidding” (The picture above shows a bike that’s similar, but a different color). It was this girls bike that people rode many years ago. I could not see myself riding that piece of crap. We then went to the room in the back and there was one bike in particular that caught my fancy. It was this maroon 21-speed mountain bike that looked pretty descent. I said to myself . . . THAT’S THE ONE FOR ME.
So I decided to fix that one up, and since it seemed like it only needed tubes, I would be set within about a half an hour of work. So I put in those tubes, put air in the tires and I was on my way to my guest room. However, I soon realize that this good looking bike was probably not the best decision. There was a problem with the peddling system and if you tried to take it out of the lowest gear, you would run into some serious problems and probably fall in a not so attractive way (while hurting yourself in the process).
There I was, in the lowest gear, peddling 50 times, moving 10 meters. Needless to say it took me a while to reach my destination. I very soon realized that i might have to settle for the old females bike. The next day I got that old female’s bike and I’ve been using it since that day and for the past 3 months, it has taken me everywhere I needed to go in Goettingen. One day, I was riding it and I stopped at a stoplight. There was this Guy next to me. He looked at my bike, then at me, and then he said “koel fahrad”, which in English means “cool bike”. I then replied “Danke schon” with a smile on my face, which means thank you very much, and then we both started laughing.
Now that I look back, I am very grateful for this old female’s bike. It has gotten me were I needed to go, and not only that, but because it was is a bit harder to ride, has made me stronger and more fit.
WHAT’S MY POINT??
Well you see, many times, life is like my old female’s bike experience. We choose success as our destination, and then we choose what we think the best form of transportation to get us there is. We apply for good Jobs, try to get into good schools, and try to get all A’s in our classes. But many times, things don’t work out the way we want them to and we realize that life had other means of transportation in store for us.
Many times we are disappointed, we get discouraged and people might even laugh at us. But whatever your means of transportation, use it to the best of your abilities. You might start off with a low end job, you might not do so well in your classes, but whatever happens, make the best of every situation and be determined to ride that old female’s bike all the way to success. In the end you will look back and see how much stronger you are for taking the path you did and will be even more fit to handle any situation that life brings your way.
This part wasn’t in the original article, but seems fitting . . .
Lets push this story a bit. Sometimes in life, God hands us situations that don’t seem to be the way they should. He hands us “an old female’s bike”. When we look at the bike we’re handed, we tell God – “You’ve got to be kidding”. We then go for the flashy 21-speed mountain bike, only to fall on our faces. If we’d only realize that the bike we’re handed is the perfect bike for us, designed by the greatest bike designer who ever lived, we’d live much more satisfying lives.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11