David knew how much I liked BMW’s at the time, his family owned Motorsport, my first job in Albuquerque, so when the new 4 cylinder K models came out he offered me a ride. Smooth, fast, and very expensive, I was heading back to the shop when a red light came on, looking like a gas pump. It was a warning light warning of low fuel. And so I naturally looked for the petcock to turn to reserve and there wasn’t one. And so I began to panic, but only a few miles from the shop so I made it OK. He explained how there was no reserve, the light warned of one gallon left, and get to a gas station. My first experience with low fuel lights, but fortunately one that didn’t end in no fuel. The signaling for me the day of the petcock is gone, and a light now tells you what sputtering and stalling used to. You need gas....
Hooker, Oklahoma is nowhere, between two places that are nowhere. So of course I didn’t get gas when I needed it. My Honda Nighthawk 650 was known for poor gas mileage, and with a small tank, 100 miles was max. Doing a quick math check, I could make it to Clayton, no problem, except the bike didn’t know that. And for almost 40 miles I rode at 40 mph, laying on the tank, on reserve. Coasting the last 200 feet, all without a low fuel light. But I made it...another time leaving Santa Cruz on a Thunderbird Sport, I figured I could get gas in Los Gatos. As soon as I left town, I went on reserve, and ended up coasting down Route 17, a dangerous curvy road anyway, and into a gas station. And managed to put 5 gallons in a 4.5 gallon tank. There is empty, and then there is really empty...And on our first trip after open heart surgery, we had a Tiger Explorer XC, and rode the Carrizzo Plain. I had figured on getting gas in New Cuyama, and after riding off road, with Theresa on back, it should have been no problem. Except the only station in this wide spot in the road was closed. So we rode over 60 miles, cruise set on 60 into Santa Maria, not enjoying the great curves of 166 with the red low fuel light on the whole time. The miles to empty showed 54 miles, the road signs said 60 to town. Which turned into an out of gas light 100 yards from a station. And a real test for post open heart surgery, pushing 600 pounds of motorcycle and baggage. So I hope I have learned my lesson...only time will tell.
So now I get gas every 100-125 miles. My 955 Tiger has a 6.3 gallon tank, my smallest tank is 5 gallons. Long before any light comes on, I fuel up. Lessons learned the hard way, but the most effective way. The books and owners manual may say how big the tank, road tests how far you can go on a tank, but nothing beats experience. Except gassing up when the light comes on. Today with a focus on Christian education, I still find Christian experience preferable. Some know scripture, I know the author. Some read how to seek the gifts of the spirit, I have been the benefactor of them. And some know the facts, I rather know the truth. And when we get saved, the truth has set us free, and Titus 3 shows us how we once were, and how we should be changed. It states “at one time we were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, hating and being hated, But when the kindness and love and of our God and savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Sound like anyone you know, or used to be? Running out of gas is a personal thing, and your fault, just like denying Jesus is. The signs are there, and the spirit is calling, but we are too busy with life, and ourselves, to the point of putting Jesus off, some unto death. And hell, and it didn’t have to be. It is our choice, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and only Jesus saves. Simple enough, we call it the gospel. But he goes on, “warn a divisive person once, then a second time. After that have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful, they are self condemned.” They are out of gas, they passed the last station, thinking they could do it on their own, only to find no more stations available between them and death. The spirit crying out to them until the end, and they are out of breath, and life. We were all like that once, and down to our last breath hung onto sin, only Jesus kept us alive to enjoy heaven with him. Like the rich man and Lazarus, those who die without Jesus would like just a drop of water, a chance to warn others, a second from eternal pain, when they had all the time while alive to choose Jesus. And once saved, tells us “our people are to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives....Grace be to you all.”
We are saved to do good. Not argue, not to sequester ourselves from the world, not to live only within church walls, but to get out and live. To depend on Jesus and not on our own understanding. To develop a relationship with him, so that we can go to him first, and only. For he has saved us, not a church, pastor, or religion. We are saved by the renewing of the holy spirit...and we never walk, or ride alone. But we are not exempt from mistakes. “On is up, reserve is down,” a universal setting on any motorcycle petcock. And I usually kept Theresa’s bike filled, so she could ride when she wanted. And one afternoon, she wanted, so we took a short ride, shorter than planned. A few miles from home, she began to sputter, then stall and turned the petcock to reserve. Or at least she thought...and then the bike wouldn’t start. She had been on reserve, and when running out, had switched to on-just the opposite. We laugh now, but for a few hectic seconds, it was my fault, then the stupid bike, and anyone’s fault but hers. Deceived and disobedient, she learned, and it never happened again. Just like the owner’s manual told her, “on is up, reserve is down.” Now she knows. That day she became more personal with her Bonneville, errors will do that in our walk with Christ also. But he takes us in, and when we do the things which are honorable and good, we find them profitable and excellent for all involved.
Still riding on reserve, don’t wait to find out how far you will go til empty. Empty will always leave you short and on the side of the road. And who you gonna blame? Better yet who you gonna call? At one time we were all foolish....I still find it is better to walk in the light than walk after the light has come on. Miles to empty....no way to live or ride. Greet those who love us in the faith. And grace be to you all. All y’all. Saved in order to do good. No matter the size of your tank, empty will always be empty.
love with compassion,