Brian’s Reflection: Friday, September 19, 2008
The journey of life is like a man riding a bicycle. We know
he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that
at some point he will stop and get off. We know that if he
stops moving and does not get off he will fall off.
- William Golding, English author [Lord of the Flies],
born on this day, 1911 [Nobel, 1983]
People are of every possible type you can think of if they should stop moving and not get off the bike. Some can balance in place for a very long time. Some will just put their feet down and stay there, not moving. Some will get off, let the bike lie there, and walk on instead. Some will fall over with the bike and lie there, waiting for someone to come along and help, or just moan. You can think of all the scenarios.
“Bike” of course can be symbolic. It could stand for anything. There are an infinite number of “bikes” we human beings are put on or choose to get on, continue to ride or not, stop and either balance, or fall. I think about my rather serious illnesses of the last few years, 3 of which I could have died from. That “bike” I have “cheerfully” – or obliviously – ridden and haven’t stopped or fallen off yet. On it goes.
I’ve been on all kinds of “bikes”. The Church. Monasticism. Sexuality. Friendship. Ministry. Intimate relationship (fairly new!). A myriad of others. I’m still riding them all! It’s been pretty wobbly at times. It’s been more like a merry-go-round, with one Big Bike called Life, and all kinds of tricycles and unicycles and trainer-wheel-cycles and motorcycles etc. These latter may break down. But the Big Bike is always surging on like (if I may mix my metaphors) Starship Voyager, and the Delta Flyers can “peddle” out and return battered and get fixed.
For me, the Big Bike is Mystery. Mystery is endless, and I don’t intend to “stop moving” on that one!!