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By: Dennis Reynolds, BFC National Elder

When I was a kid, much like any other young boy, I was captivated by motorcycles and motorcycle people. Whenever a group of bikes would pass by on the road in front of our house, I would stop whatever I was doing and stare until they disappeared in the distance. I also recall more than once pressing my face against the glass in the back seat of mom’s car, staring at a biker while sitting at a stop light. If he happened to wave at me, I would be thrilled!

My first actual ride on a motorcycle was amazing. For as far back as I can remember my mom played church league softball which meant most evenings, we could be found at a church somewhere in Greenwood County cheering for the team.

One evening, while we were watching the church ladies kick the snot out of the visitors at our home field, Mr. Parkman, whose daughter also played ball, showed up on a shiny green motorcycle. I believe it was probably a late 60s or early 70s Japanese bike and it was AWESOME!

My friends and I ran over to him so we could take a closer look. He was overjoyed at the sudden attention! Asking if we wanted to ride, Mr. Parkman took turns taking each of us for a short spin up the road and back. It was only five minutes or so, but I will never forget that day.

When I bought my first “for real” street bike, my compadres and I would hang out and ride to the lake or maybe take a day trip to Augusta. We did not see ourselves as bikers, only a bunch of kids having fun.

One evening, my friend Roger and I were sitting on our Yamahas when a club guy sped by his house burning up the asphalt! Foolishly thinking we were club material; we hopped on our bikes and took off after him, flashing our lights until we got him to pull over. I will not mention the club name, but this guy was a serious biker who had to be wondering why these two punks had flagged him down.

“We want to join your club!” we happily announced, thinking that we would immediately be welcomed with open arms.

Dang we were stupid!

The guy was amused, but he was as cool as he could be. His motorcycle was dripping with chrome and it was big and beautiful! He lit a cigarette, threw the match on the ground, and walked back to check out our motorcycles. While I am sure he was less than impressed, he talked about how nice our little Yamaha motorcycles were, which of course had us beaming with pride!

He could have been a total jerk and belittled us for bothering him, and he would have been within his rights, but he did not. Instead, this total stranger took the time to make us feel important.

Fast forward. Me and the “Posse”, as we jokingly refer to our group, had planned to go for a Sunday ride. As usual, we met up at the local Spinx station to start the day with a cup of coffee and a little conversation.

Two young boys were in the parking lot who seemed to be between eight and ten years old, and they were ecstatic to see our bikes. They kept walking out in the parking lot, smiling and waving, and shouting things like “Hey motorcycle man!”

These two kids were looking at us the way I used to look at Evel Knievel!

A couple of the guys went over and talked to them for a second and shook their little hands. A few minutes later, I finished my coffee and headed for the trash can to discard my paper cup. When I made it to the building, the little boys stuck their heads out the door and one of them asked if I was a biker. I responded with “Yes sir, I am.”

“I want to be a biker, and when I grow up, I’m going to get a motorcycle just like yours!”

I asked him his name, smiled, then told him to stick to his dreams and they would come true. After a couple of fist bumps and another smile, I walked back to my Street Glide.

That was when it hit me.

I am that guy…

To someone, I am that motorcycle rider who rode up beside my mom’s car and waved. To someone, I am Mr. Parkman riding little kids on his bike. To someone, I am that club member who took the time to make two young men feel important.

At that moment, I realized that we have a huge responsibility to the young people who look up to us. They see us as examples and there is nothing we can do about that, but we can choose to be good examples or bad examples.

Which one will you choose to be?

God’s word tells us in Titus 2:6-8 (NLT) In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Teach the truth so that your teaching cannot be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.

Whether we realize it or not, we have a golden opportunity. We can change the course of a young person’s life by simply giving them a smile or a wave. We can make young people feel important by just saying hello and making them feel as though they matter. We can give words of wisdom to young people who are thirsting for direction in their lives.

Please remember, no matter where you ride, no matter where your group decides to stop for lunch, no matter what gas station you stop at, you are “that guy” or “that girl” to someone. Do not waste the opportunity you have been given. You can make a difference.

Ride on, stay safe!

Bikers For Christ M/M
PO Box 4974
Oceanside, CA 92052

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