I’m looking at rental properties in Canberra with some of my friends. These links should help us keep on top of the search:
- Belconnen | beds>=3 | <$450
- Inner North | beds>=3 | <$450
- Inner North | beds>=4 | <$600
- Northside | beds>=4 | <$600
- Northside | beds>=5
- Northside | beds>=3 | age<=3
- Northside | beds>=3 | age<=7
- Northside | beds=2 | age<=7
Northside is both Belconnen (actdis=1001) and the Inner North (actdis=1009).
The age parameter (agelimit) specifies how many days ago the ad was placed on the site.
God often picks interesting tools for teaching us things. Like mountain bikes. Many of you would know I had a pretty serious crash just before Christmas last year which landed me in hospital for a few days (another story in itself). Thank you to all my wonderful friends for your love and support in that difficult time! But what I want to talk about just now is the more recent theft and recovery of my new bike…
I’m sorry I didn’t reply to each of your messages of sympathy and encouragement. I’m thinking this post might be the next best thing ;)
Contrary to what some expected (and hoped), the crash didn’t exactly dissipate my enthusiasm for mountain biking. It didn’t take long for me to get restless, so about three months ago I went out and bought an expensive new bike – mean, light, and fast – and STRONG, I didn’t want this one breaking on me ;)
I brought the bike home, and installed her at the foot of my bed. Yes, installed is the right word, for I never seemed to have time to ride it. I bought this bike strictly for off-road use – for weekend rides, for cross-country racing, for having fun – not for riding round town. We ventured out together only a couple of times in the next couple of months. Then my other bike, a speedy and reliable road commuter, decided to snap a couple of spokes, and so I coaxed out my black and green machine to take me to uni. She obliged, quite happy for a stretch of the, er, wheels, and comfortably secure in the Engineering bike cage during the day.
On Friday  I got careless.
#1: I broke my rule that we would only ride straight to uni and back home again. I wanted to stop by some shops in Belconnen, so I said “It’ll be OK, I’ll take my U-lock with me from uni, and you’ll be quite safe.”
#2: We went to the Salvo’s in Belconnen, forgetting that the area near the Belconnen remand centre isn’t really all that ‘safe’.
#3: I was only ducking into the shop for 3 minutes max to check if they had any leather jackets or white tees for a 50’s theme party. “It’s definitely safest to leave her leaning against the window, where she’s highly visible. I’ll even put my lock through the back wheel and frame so she can’t be ridden away. No worries.” Maybe, just maybe, I should secure her TO something immovable, like the signpost round the corner, or the fence just across the road? “No! Silly idea!”
#4: The bike at the window wasn’t as visible as I thought; it was soon hidden by clothes racks. And I was possibly gone slightly longer than 3 minutes.
I did check back at the window after a couple of minutes. All was good, and away I went again. The next time, my bike was nowhere to be seen. I know I’m boring you, so suffice it to say, some young guy had apparently walked off down the street with the bike, and seem to be long gone when I noticed it was missing. I quickly reported it to the police, who were honest in saying there wasn’t much hope of seeing it again, and I went home to spread the word on all the cycling websites. I printed a few posters, and thought I’d keep an eye out on eBay…
I wanted to put a brave face on it, so I was quite ready to tell people that it was only a bike – that, yes, it sucked, but God must have a good purpose in it. In reality I was like “God, can’t you see I don’t need this trouble right now? Don’t you know I’ve got enough on my plate?” Yeah. Not so good.
Ten days later , I’m vainly trying to get some study done in the computer labs. My phone rings. “This is Constable ______ ______. You had a bike stolen recently, right? Was it black and green with Kenda tires?” Um, yes, why? “Well, we have it here. A couple of kids brought it in today. When would you like to pick it up?”
I was gobsmacked.
Bikes. Like. This. Simply. Don’t. Come. Back.
As if it wasn’t clear enough that this was God’s work, he made sure I knew the police hadn’t somehow recovered it on one of their lucky raids. No, God had turned someone’s heart – a mother, a girlfriend, maybe even the guy himself – and caused them to do the right thing. To just bring it in. That’s one way to teach me to rely on you, Lord Jesus!
To finish the story for you: Dad brought his car in to pick the bike up with me. She had survived remarkably well! Bar a different seat (!?), and a couple of missing light brackets, she had hardly changed since I last saw her. And so there she is, installed at the foot of my bed again. Happy to be home, and happy to rest there awhile, if I’m not mistaken.
So this has been a pretty humbling experience. I’m a proud guy, and God has to find ingenious ways to humble me. First, coming to terms with my own foolishness that let the bike be stolen. Second, realising that I cared for this bike way too much. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, … where thieves break in and steal.” Wise advice! The next bit is more pointed: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I guess repentance is called for there, to set my eyes on the future, and on Jesus the finisher of my faith. I find it all too easy to grow comfortable with this life, and to stop yearning for heaven, for the life that is to come. How does that make Christ feel, that I would often seem to prefer these material things, rather than that which he shed his blood, suffered, and gave his life for?
Third, I complained to God about this trial because there were too many other things that _I_ had to deal with. He turned around and showed me how ridiculous that was! This wasn’t another thing that _I_ had to deal with – in fact, that was my very problem, I was trying to deal with too many things MY way in MY time, instead of relying on Him and trusting Him to take care of me. “Do not be anxious about your life.” What then? “Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” God showed me he could take care of this small (for him) matter, and do so far better than I ever imagined. So won’t he just as well take care of all my other problems and struggles?
Fourth, my Jesus is too small. I went to a Mark Driscoll event  to have my plastic Jesus images destroyed, but God was already at work, showing me more of himself. My image of Jesus had been a man, God even, who died on the cross for my sins, who conquered death, and yet also a guy who was too small to really know what was best for me, and certainly too small to make it happen. Jesus understands me, and what I need, beyond my wildest dreams! He has already DONE EVERYTHING for me, and he will GIVE me everything I need to be satisfied in him :D
What encouragement is there in this: “May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely… He who calls you is faithful; HE WILL SURELY DO IT.” Amen and AMEN!!
Anyone keen for a ride?