There’s an old saying, I don’t where it’s from, but it says, “Time and tide wait for no man.” I was reminded of this recently when I received a really nice letter from a reader telling me how much he appreciated a story I wrote in a local entertainment magazine.
The story was about motorcycles and motorcyclists, and although it heavily featured Harley-Davidson’s – if only for the reason that the people I talked with had settled on Harley’s as their preferred bikes. The letter was from the PR Manager at Victory and Indian Motorcycles who saw the story I wrote when he was out here in California on business.
As I read his letter of appreciation and saw which motorcycle company he worked for, I was immediately transported back in time. I was 8-years old and my mom met, then married my step-dad. He was a presence whenever he walked into the room. He not only was intelligent and well-educated spending his career educating others, he was self-taught at pretty much everything he did, from woodworking to rebuilding cars, trucks and motorcycles. And everything he did, he did well.
Although he ended up riding Harley-Davidson bikes as he got older, it was the story of his experience on his very first motorcycle, an Indian, that forged itself into my wide-eyed 8-year old mind.
He would regal me with the story of how when he was just a young man, he and his Indian motorcycle rode from South Dakota out to California, and back again. In my mind’s eye, he was like the greatest of adventurers, fighting the winds and weathers, cruising across the country with the sun setting in the background while he rode on his white Indian motorcycle. For many years, I would get him Indian bike memorabilia for gifts on his birthday, at Christmas and on Father’s Day.
I realized as I thought about the memory I have of him on his bike, that I never really got the detailed story of his ride. I carry around an image of him as a knight of sorts riding a white Indian steed, with a backdrop of the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota as he rode steadily on a black ribbon of highway heading West.
You would have thought with me being a writer, a gatherer of people’s tales, that I would have gathered the details of that particular one, but I never did. My dad is older now and the place in his mind where the details of that ride live is locked away in the recesses of his memory. The key that would have opened that box in his memory is lost forever. So, there is no way for me to truly ever know what the details were, I waited to long to ask and now there is no way to coax it from him.
Yes, time and tide wait for no man, and in this case, no woman. Yet, the ride and the picture it draws in my mind, no matter how limited the details, in many ways represents the way that he has been in my life. A knight riding a white Indian motorcycle who rode in at just the right time.
In many respects we do the same type of thing with our own children, or others children who are dear to us, when it comes to telling them about the LORD and all He has done. We give them the basics of Him and neglect to tell them the details of His greatness, His love and His faithfulness. We leave them in the situation that if they don’t ask they don’t know, until it is too late to ask.
“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”