My husband has a scooter. It's a Genuine Buddy with a 170cc engine. It goes about 50 mph. We've had it for a few months, most of the year so far, I guess. We bought it instead of a second car, and so far it's been an incredible blessing to our family. Justin drives it everywhere (looking quite handsome as he does).
I, however, do not drive the scooter.
Last year on a trip to Chicago I rented a scooter and drove it into a brick wall. I bruised most of the right side of my body and did a couple hundred bucks worth of damage to the bike. Since then, I've been a little scooter skittish.
I trust the scooter.
I just don't trust myself to drive it.
I do, however, trust Justin.
Since way back when we were in high school and Justin parallel parked his mom's minivan to get his Florida license, I've admired his legit driving skills. Boy can park an over-sized F150 in a compact spot at Whole Foods (Not that he would, of course. #manners). As I expected, he earned the top spot in his motorcycle riding class (yes, that's a thing).
Like I said, I trust him at the wheel.
Last week, for the first time since we got the scooter, I had the chance to ride it with him. It took us a few months to find some extra money to buy me a helmet (those suckers aren't cheap), but we finally did, and together we set off into the sunset. Literally.
If I'd been driving that evening I would have been terrified. Actually, I never would have driven. I would've just stayed home. If you made me drive, if you said I'm going to shoot you in the foot if you don't drive this scooter, I may have tried, but like I said, terrified.
But I wasn't driving. I was riding with my favorite person and the second best driver I know (props to Dad). And because that was true...
I loved it. I loved the way his body blocked the wind for mine. I love watching the pinks and purples of sunset without worrying about when to brake or where to turn. I loved the peace of it. And the thrill. I loved getting to put my arms around his waist and my head on his back. I loved how close we were. I loved being entirely dependent upon him. Fully dependent and fully, delightfully free.
Riding on the back of my husband's scooter felt like living in love with God.
It was less than thirty seconds into the ride before I thought how much this was like that.
Because loving God is about trusting Him. It's about believing He knows and does best, so much that you put your arms around His waist and go wherever He's going. And you don't ride in fear, wondering if He's capable, wondering where He'll take you. You ride because you wouldn't want anyone else driving and because you wouldn't want to be anywhere but where He is.
He blocks the wind. He charts the course. He smiles while you watch the sun set...
Loving God is leaning in. It brings joy and excitement, proximity and peace.
Later that night I overheard Justin talking to my dad about how I'd done as a rider. Evidently riding on the back of a scooter is a thing you can do poorly. I'm so glad I didn't know that before I tried it.
Luckily, he said I was great. He was surprised at how easy it had been, how well I mirrored his movements, how well I kept my balance and never pulled him off his.
My dad was very surprised--as he should have been. I'm the least coordinated person in our family.
But I knew why it had worked so well. It worked because I trusted him. And it worked because I knew him, because I'd spent more than half my life learning his rhythms, his posture, his back...
When I think of riding on a scooter with God, of living in love with Him, I recognize that the riding isn't always smooth. Sometimes I lose my balance. Sometimes I squeeze too hard, out of fear, nerves, worry. Sometimes I misread Him altogether and lean right when He leans left.
But when I'm in a sweet spot, when I'm praying like I want to--because I can't help it, because I love God too much not to talk to Him--when I'm reading the Bible not to read it but to encounter God there, when I'm spending time with the people who look most like God, when I'm loving the people who look least like God, when I'm in sync with His rhythms, then the ride is right and beautiful and all I ever want to do forever.