Kate said it would be dangerous. Kate talked to at least five people who had been to Bermuda and they all said we shouldn’t do it. Kate warned us, and Kate was right. Using scooters to get around Bermuda was NOT a good idea!
Why I would think I would be okay on the back of a scooter is a question that begs to be asked. I mean, even in the car here in Maryland I am nervous. I don’t like to drive, and I’m a really bad passenger. I do the whole slam the invisible break thing, gasp when it looks we are too close to the double yellow line, etc. It seems to me that all of us should be nervous in a car. We are driving little metal boxes at speeds up to 65 or 70 mph, and all that divides us is a painted yellow or white line. Am I really so crazy for being nervous? Jason is so patient with me. He is an excellent driver, except when his wife screams and slams her invisible break.
Back to the scooter story. Jason and I, along with Kate and Paul, and Brian and Tracie decide to add a little adventure to our vacation by renting scooters in Bermuda. Somehow I think I can handle riding on a scooter Jason has never driven, in a place we’ve never been, and driving on the opposite side of the road at that! I convince myself that it is not really dangerous, I’m just a freak – I have the problem. It didn’t start so well. I was squeezing Jason’s waist so hard, he could hardly breathe. I am on the back praying really loud things like, “Oh God, help us! Jesus, help us!” That mixed with the occasional, “we are going to DIE!!!” I have never prayed so earnestly, or loudly, in my life. As I’m yelling like a lunatic on the back of the scooter (cars passing us really close on the right!) I try to tell Jason to just ignore me. I tell him, “you’re doing fine, it’s just me. Don’t listen to me back here.” I try to tell myself to just be quiet, pray in my mind, take deep breaths. I can’t control myself. I have to say things like, “too fast!”, “are we lost?”, “don’t lean!!!”. The words pop out of my mouth with a frantic edge at a volume he can hear over the roar of the engine and the whir of cars zooming past us. I am sure I was eroding any modicum of confidence my poor husband had in driving the scooter.
Then it happened. All three couples were trying to make a turn across the two way traffic, and Kate and Paul crash into the side of a low stone wall. Screams of “Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!” can be heard…not by Kate or Paul who were in the accident. No they were relatively calm. Kate got up and walked a few feet away, scraped and bruised, but calm. Paul un-crunched his neck, got up with a four inch square patch of skin missing on the back of his shoulder, but still amazingly calm. Who was screaming? Me, of course. After filling out paper work and returning Kate and Paul’s scooter, we proceed to the beach (absolutely stunning, by the way…I hope to get pictures up next week). On the beach, we begin to notice that Kate and Paul aren’t the only ones clad in gauze. Many people have various body parts wrapped. It became a little connecting point for people. “Scooter accident?” “Yeah…” and so on with the details. Then it occurred to me. I wasn’t crazy. This really was dangerous. People really were getting injured doing this whole scooter thing. I probably don’t have to inform you that we returned our scooter that evening (but not before I ended up crying – what a ninny! – and Jason hit a parked car…unmarked police car…with police man sitting in it!!!).
Because I have to make everything didactic, I can’t resist sharing the obvious parallels between scooter Laurie and wife Laurie. This year one theme that God is causing me to return to over and over is the biblical quality of a gentle and quiet spirit. I like how Wayne Grudem defines these qualities in his commentary on 1 Peter: gentle – not insisting on one’s own rights, not pushy, not selfishly assertive, not demanding one’s own way; quiet: “the result of quiet and continual trust in God to supply one’s needs.” In the scooter ride called marriage, I am realizing that I am so often not gentle or quiet in my spirit. You see, I am behind a guy who is extremely godly and gifted, but nonetheless doesn’t always know what he’s doing. He’s trying to follow the map. He is trying to stay upright. He is trying to move us from point A to point B. And wherever he goes I’m going. His success and failure on the proverbial scooter affects me. So even if I’m not screaming prayers of desperation in his ear, am I eroding his confidence by my more subtle bouts with fear and anxiety (about finances, the kids, the ministries he oversees, etc.)? Am I being pushy and assertive telling him to “slow down” or “don’t lean”. Too often the answer to these questions is yes. And given my little scooter story, that doesn’t surprise you.
I am so grateful to God for opening my eyes to see the beauty of His design in calling women to a gentle and quiet spirit. It is something I strongly desire because I see how it is precious to Him, and I am beginning to see why. When I put my trust in God to supply my needs, He is pleased and glorified. Whether or not the scooter ride ever gets comfortable, if we get lost on a strange island, even if we wipe out and get scraped up a bit, I want to rest in the confidence that God is in control. How I want to have these verses characterize me more and more this year: 1 Peter 3:4-7 (ESV) 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening………
….even scooter rides in Bermuda.