I listened as two old friends, long retired, talk of a moment in their childhood. Near their homes was a tall hill. An older brother loved to take the two youngest (one of them telling the story) down the hill while they were sitting on the handlebars of his bicycle. The hill was steep. The path was non-existent and bumpy. The danger was real. Despite the screams, or maybe because of them, the adventure repeated itself for days and even weeks.
“Why did we do that?”
“Why did we trust him so much?”
“How did we survive unhurt?”
Good questions that will never have answers.
I imagined the scene.
The bicycle would have been black. It would have only had a single speed. The brakes would have been mechanical. In light of today’s bicycles, it was a moving accident waiting to happen.
The hill was unlikely to be very steep, however it was enough that pedaling was optional. There would have been grass and leaves, but no path. The contour would have been rough and natural.
In today’s world, it is unlikely that a mother would allow her child to ride on the handlebars. Even if it happened once, the chance that it would happen a second time is less than zero. Yet, both mothers then trusted the kids to take care of each other.
Trust is an elusive gift. In today’s world, it required verification and certainty. Faith is considered suspect. When the option presents itself, the right answer centers on the opportunity with certainty. There are exceptions, often left unexamined because they are rarely the action of choice.
Paul faced a choice. He wanted to take the option where he felt he was best qualified. However, Another had a different view. “Don’t argue. Go. I’m sending you on a long journey to outsider non-Jews.” (Acts 22.21)
In a day long ago, young girls trusted my Uncle. They lived and their eyes tell of the wonder and joy of that moment. Paul acted on trust, and his lived changed with the decision. Trust is important.