Lessons From A Motorcycle Crash
June 26, 2011 5 PM 70 MPH I-69 north Flint Michigan
Trailer came loose. Motorcycle crashed down the highway.
Bad feelings. No one hurt, praise our Lord!
Before the crash
My dear wife is from Canada. It is the world's second-largest country by area. Ten provinces and three territories make up that nation to our north.
Vicky was born in Ontario, one of the provinces, in the city of Toronto,
the largest in Canada (about 6 million people).
On Sunday June 26th, after the worship of our Father in heaven with our church family, we left to spend several days with Vicky’s family. Her mom lives in Huntsville which is about 3 hours north of Toronto, in the beautiful Muskoka region of Ontario. I always look forward to riding my motorcycle in the area. There are lakes everywhere (over 250,000 in Ontario; of the Great Lakes, only Lake Michigan is not shared with Ontario) surrounded by rolling hills and small unique villages. It is a fun place to enjoy easy, quiet rides.
So, as is normal when we go on vacation, we trailered my motorcycle behind our Santa Fe. Around 5 PM we pulled into a rest area close to Flint, Michigan, for a stretch. We pulled back onto the interstate. I was taking a break from driving and almost asleep in the passenger seat. The car jerked. Vicky screamed “Marty, your motorcycle!” I turned around and watched my bike bounce, slide, and skid down the interstate @ 70 miles an hour. Parts were flying through the air. Cars were swerving. It was terrible to watch.
We got the trailer and car pulled to the shoulder. Caleb, Colin and I jumped out and ran back. There were cars and trucks pulled over. A semi truck had pulled over on the south bound lane. He thought someone was on the bike. My first thought was people have been hurt because of my motorcycle being on the highway, but we soon learned that no one was hurt and no other car was damaged. It seemed almost miraculous. We are very thankful for our Lord’s goodness to protect the other people on the highway with us that day.
Now that I have had several days to think and pray about that test, there are several lessons I am learning I want to share with you.
1. People make mistakes. Examine their work, especially when your safety is concerned.
Several weeks before leaving I went to a local trailer hitch business and asked them to put the ball on the draw bar. I didn’t have big enough tools to do it myself. They put it on and didn’t charge me. I was grateful. But I didn’t examine the job. I took it for granted that it was installed properly.
2. Be alert. That Sunday afternoon I was tired from the work of Sunday morning. I heard hitch noise, but I thought it was just the norm. When we stopped at the rest area I should have checked the ball on the draw bar. When you get tired you tend to be less alert, less watchful. That is true physically and spiritually. Be more careful when you are tired. Be extra alert. Our Lord says to “watch” several times in His Word. It means to “stay awake and be alert.”
3. It is important to pray for one another. I’m sure that our Lord protected us and others from harm and more damage because of the prayer support of His people for us. Thank you so very much.
4. It is easy to get too attached to the temporary things we have. The stuff we have soon has us. I had spent many hours caring for my motorcycle, like I do with all my vehicles. I like to keep them in good working order and looking good. I had replaced a rear oil seal just a few weeks before. It took me many hours of work. It grieved me to see it destroyed so easily.
5. To believe in our Father’s providence, to trust in Him, is a comfort in times of testing.
“Question: What are God's works of providence? Answer: God's works of providence are His most holy (Ps 145:17), wise (Isa 28:29), and powerful (Heb 1:3) preserving and governing all His creatures, and all their actions (Ps 103:19 Mt 10:29).” from Pastor Charles Spurgeon’s catechism
“Question 27: What do you understand by the providence of God?
Answer: God's providence is His almighty and ever present power, whereby, as with His hand, He still upholds heaven and earth and all creatures, and so governs them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, indeed, all things, come not by chance but by His fatherly hand. Jer 23:23, 24; Acts 17:24-28. Heb 1:3. Jer 5:24; Acts 14:15-17; Jn 9:3;
Prov 22:2. Prov 16:33. Mt 10:29.
Question 28: What does it benefit us to know that God has created all things and still upholds them by His providence?
Answer: We can be patient in adversity, thankful in prosperity, and with a view to the future we can have a firm confidence in our faithful God and Father that no creature shall separate us from His love; for all creatures are so completely in His hand that without His will they cannot so much as move.
Job 1:21, 22; Ps 39:10; Jas 1:3. Deut 8:10; 1 Thess 5:18. Ps 55:22;
Rom 5:3-5; 8:38, 39. Job 1:12; 2:6; Prov 21:1; Acts 17:24-28.
from the Heidelberg Catechism
6. Faith in our Lord does not take away hurts and bad feelings when we go through trials. It was a very bad feeling for our family when that happened. Hurtful feelings take time to diminish. Being a child of God does not keep you from hurts, pain, misery and eventually death. Life is filled with many different kinds of hurtful experiences. Life is also filled with many wonderful, pleasing experiences. Sunny days are wonderful, but without stormy, rainy days we would have no food.
7. Kind words of comfort from others help us work through hurts and trials.
8. Our Father is more interested in people’s souls than in our money and things. Because of that experience a Michigan state policeman, a tow truck driver and others were given the Great News of our Lord. May they be converted as they read about our Savior.
9. There are helpful, kind people everywhere. The semi truck driver on the other side of the highway stopped his truck and ran across the median and was helping move the motorcycle off the highway to help protect others. Several people helped out. I am thankful for kind people in our world. Let’s ask our Lord to help us be helpful to others for His glory.
10. It is so very good to have the support of family when going through difficulties. I can’t imagine being alone in times of trials. Give thanks for your family and friends. Give thanks for y our church family. We are to support and encourage one another. Be especially sensitive to people who are without family. Be careful to support and help them in times of distress and problems.
May our Lord strengthen and encourage you. May He meet your needs and strengthen your trust in Him.
Thank you again for praying for me and our family.