Last week, Ernie and I attended our local county fair. It was a good day for the fair … sunny and warm and lots of people. We enjoyed strolling through the various exhibition buildings and looking at the normal displays of 4-H, handwork items, canning and animals. We traveled through time as we toured the old country school and mercantile store; we marveled at the antique tractors and all the things that could be accomplished by the working steam engines. We checked out the businesses that had booths there, spun the ‘wheel to win a prize’, which we didn’t. We even bought some fair food (it truly would have been a sin not to!) and enjoyed a small town band’s lively performance while we sat in the shade and ate.
We were encouraged at the number of churches and religious organizations represented as we journeyed through the fairgrounds. At one booth, we were introduced to the Christian Motorcyclists Association, an organization based in Hatfield, AR. In visiting with the local chapter’s president, we learned that CMA has been around since 1975, has over 161,000 members and more than 1290 chapters in the US. They are known worldwide and are currently represented in 32 countries.
Totally supported by motorcyclists and enthusiasts who believe in Jesus Christ, their main purpose is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with motorcyclists of all ages; they achieve this by attending motorcycle rallies, tour, races, etc. and conducting worship services at these events.
Once a year, they host a sponsored Run for the Son event with participating motorcyclists from across the US. Monies raised are split between these 3 main projects:
The Jesus Film Project – Movies are produced depicting Jesus life and His Good News in more than 1300 languages and then delivered to billions of people in their heart language
Open Doors – For over 60 years, this ministry has worked in the world’s most oppressive and restrictive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution, equipping them with Bibles and other Christian literature, supporting the advancement of women and children, and involving themselves with Christian community restoration.
Missionary Ventures – Through this project, motorcycles, bicycles and other forms of transportation are supplied to indigenous pastors and evangelists working in jungles, mountain villages and distant towns limited only to foot traffic.
Of all the handouts on the table, this is the one that grabbed me the most.
Here’s what it says on the back:
‘When you look in the mirror, do you see the person you want to be, or are you disappointed in the reflection looking back? Have you passed by God during your life? God sees you fulfilled and satisfied, riding the path He designed just for you. He sees you as a great parent, trustworthy worker, and faithful friend. He envisions you living the life He has planned for you, but most of all He sees you connected to Him in a loving and eternal relationship. When you take a closer look in the mirror, you will see Jesus standing behind you, waiting for you to turn to Him. He can put the right reflection in our mirror if we just humble ourselves and ask Him for forgiveness.
Won’t you take a closer look and see what you have passed by?’
“Dear Lord, forgive me for passing You by. I am ashamed at what I see in the mirror. Please forgive my past sins and take me to Heaven when I die. Right now put me on Your perfect path and give me the strength to walk it out every day. Thank You Lord for making me the person You see in my mirror.”
What a wonderful organization with terrific insight; what a wonderful ministry!!!
For more information about the Christian Motorcyclists Association, click here.
While I waited as Ernie distributed our crosses to some of the people we had visited with (including the CMA chapter), a man in his mid-40’s sat down next to me on the bench, pushing his wheeled walker to the side so it wouldn’t be in the path of other fair-goers. As we started chatting, his glasses told me the vision in his left eye was gone; his speech told me he had suffered a brain injury.
He freely talked about the day, 19 years ago, he took the snowmobile out for a ride. He had too much to drink; he drove too fast; and the tree stopped both vehicle and rider abruptly, sending his head through its main trunk. He spent 3 weeks in an induced coma to relieve the swelling in his brain; he spent months in intensive care, more time at the Courage Center. He lived in a nursing home for 3 years and a handicapped group home until just recently. He had to learn how to walk and talk again, how to feed and dress himself. He said, while in the hospital, he found out he was going to be a dad to the only child he would ever have; and, at the same time, he learned the divorce papers were on their way.
He told his story showing no pity for himself, just matter of factly. As I listened to him, a sense of pride came out when he told me about the job he had at Wal-Mart and how long he had worked there and that he had just bought a house where he could live independently. He said he ‘owned’ his condition now, living it every day. He knew God was in his life; he knew the accident, caused by his foolishness, was for a reason. He said he felt like he was to be an inspiration to others and that he was doing the best he could to fulfill God’s plan.
As our conversation came to a close, I thought ‘How often do we forget what we have in search of what we think we deserve?’ As humbling as that conversation was to me, I know this man inspired me.
On our ride home, Ernie and I talked about the fair and how much we enjoyed it, probably more than any other fair we have ever attended. It wasn’t just because of the exhibitors or the vendors or the fair-goers or even the food … it was because we both felt God’s presence there. Yes, it was a good day at the fair indeed!
God is good all the time; all the time, God is good!
We thank the following CTW family members for sharing the cross during the month of July:
St. John’s Lutheran Church – Sutherlin, OR
CUPS – Lafayette, LA
My Father’s House – Minneapolis, MN
Linda – AZ
Good Samaritan Homes, Inver Grove Heights – Inver Grove Heights, MN
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church– Billings, MT
Joan – MN
Know God, know peace
No God, know fear