Quite honestly, we take brakes for granted. We just assume we will stop when removing our foot from the go pedal and pushing on the stop pedal. But sometimes it takes a wall, a curb, another car, or the supernatural to bring us to a halt. Over the many years of riding, I have grown from pushing down on the pedal that motivated my Schwinns, to experiencing double leading shoe front brakes on my ?5 BMW’s, to graduating to disc brakes, and now having fun with radial brakes. I still cannot explain how they all work double leading shoes still throw me, why will they stop you going forward, but you roll back when applied on a hill? When Honda came out with the disc brake on the CB750, they stopped better, but still it was all about go fast 1/4 mile times, no one bragged about how quickly their bike stopped. Or car. Riding different bikes, in the past two weeks six different ones, they all stop differently, and it takes a few miles of getting used too. The worn out discs on my 109,000 Tiger take some time to call ahead when planning to stop, yet the big Brembos on the Street Triple RS are a one finger assignment. Same style radial brakes on my Tiger 1050, but yet they don’t have the same feel. The same confidence. And in between, my Tiger 800 and Bonneville both use the same brakes. Please note we are talking front brakes here, an area most Harley riders never engage, fear of going over the bars, or stopping too quick. I have seen too many Harley near misses and hits due to using only the rear brake. I hardly use the rear brake on any bike, the front stops just fine, the other 30% of braking the rear adds is there if needed. And I do very few if any stoppies....
But with the abundance of power available in cars today, and that has been in motorcycles for years, brakes are forgotten until they squeak, pull to one side, refuse to stop, or only slow you down, or the smell is so bad you have to deal with them. Friction applied via a shoe or a pad to a drum or rotor makes you stop when pressure is applied. But what really goes on when you need to stop? It takes a system working together, many parts, some now controlled electronically, to make you stop. So simple even the dim bulb soccer mom under the influence of children while on her cell phone can use them. But the word stop will always mean just that, not slowing down, but coming to a complete stop. No longer moving forward. Double leading shoes need not apply if stopped on a hill, if you ever rode a bike with them you know what I mean.
Sin is like that in our lives, we are told to stop, but no one really explains why. Just stop. But until you realize what you are doing is wrong, you won’t consider it. Or do it. Just like changing the way you drive will effect how you stop, how you live will effect how you stop, or should. Some just indulge in a little sin, they know when they have had too much to drink, they claim, making excuses for their sin. But you only know when you have had too much to drink after you have, for like sleeping, you don’t know you were asleep until you wake up. And then the excuses fly....God tells us that a little leaven will go through the whole loaf, leaven meaning sin, as leaven puffs up bread, and sin puffs us up. We can do it our way, by ourselves, we don’t need rules or the spirit to guide. It speaks of pride, of not needing God, of being self sufficient, until you find you aren’t. Jesus referred to leaven many times, warning to beware of the Pharisees, the sin of hypocrisy or pretending. Christians never do that, do they?
Perhaps the place where the biggest lies are told is when greeting someone at church. “How are you?” And everyone is fine. Can’t deny Jesus in my life by complaining, so I lie to cover up my problems. When we know you lost your job, your kids or you are on drugs, you have money problems or are getting divorced. Your words carry no power, and you wonder why. If we don’t tell the truth among believers, why do you stop there, losing your credibility when sharing. And the leaven spreads...yet God has made a way to stop. It is called repentance, admit your sin, turn to him for forgiveness, and ask for help. You cannot do it yourself! Just as you cannot save yourself. Paul once admonished the Corinthian church who were knee deep in sin, just stop! No magic formula, just turn to Jesus and stop! Just like slamming on the brakes may upset the others in the car, it also may save their lives. We all want to grow in Christ, but do we want to stop what we used to do to do it?
Spiritually asleep and don’t know it? I hope it doesn’t take a sudden stop, a panic stop to wake you up to Jesus. Applying the brakes in each situation will get different results, we don’t need to slow from sinning, we need to stop. Pedal to the floor! Squeeze the lever until it hits your hand! Don’t be afraid to use all the brakes, there is more than just the rear, and to many old wives tales. You need all the Jesus you can get, and he is all available when you need him. Living life in the fast lane may be fun, but living life to the fullest is knowing when to stop, and knowing how to apply the brakes. Sure things may be going good, but will you stop when you see the signs? Many will tell you that speed kills, but it is really what you may or may not hit that causes you to stop. What you hit. The big Brembos on new bikes may stop you quick, but a brick wall or tree will stop you quicker.
God sent Jesus so we can be free from the sin in our lives, to rid us of leaven. New rules or regulations may affect the way you live, only Jesus forgives. Don’t let sin be like your new fast ride. Man she’s fast, but will she stop? The question now is, will you? Jesus is the only power beyond what we can feel, taste, see, and smell. Burning shoes are only a warning...so you don’t have to.
love with compassion,