I had an unusual encounter along the Indiana Toll Road near South Bend late yesterday afternoon. Some might call it serendipity—a desirable discovery made by accident. But, truly, it was the good Lord handing me an unexpected blessing.
Joyce and I were driving home from Pennsylvania, feeling a little sad after dropping off our daughter Rachel at college. We pulled into a rest stop along the toll road and I spotted a man and a woman in motorcycle gear standing next to a parked Honda Gold Wing. I had to talk with them.
They were astounding. They had a powerful but controlled energy that was exciting and marked by good humor. He’s 77 years old. She’s 73. They love the Lord and boldly told me so. I was stunned when they said their nephew teaches Bible at the college Rachel attends. Rachel’s taken two of his classes, and he’s one of her favorite professors. They were traveling from their home in Pennsylvania to Carson City, Nevada. They had already traveled about 375 miles that day. An excellent ride, but the rain in Pennsylvania and Ohio wasn’t much fun. About 2,000 miles to go to Carson City. They soon would stop for the night.
He asked me, Have you been to the Creation Museum in Cincinnati? He didn’t pause for an answer, but continued, You gotta go! They’re building a replica of Noah’s Ark. It’ll be done in 2014. We’re planning to go after it’s done.
What delightful people. At 77 and 73, they were full of adventure and excitement and on their way to Carson City on a Honda Gold Wing, with plans for Cincinnati in 2014. And, in all of that, they found a way to encourage me as I was missing my daughter.
Twenty minutes after our 15-minute encounter, as Joyce and I were heading down the toll road at about 70 miles per hour, the couple on the Gold Wing zoomed past us going about 75. I waved out of my window as they passed, but they were busy talking and didn’t notice. They pulled off the toll road at the next exit.
Who could have put together my encounter with this couple? Serendipity? Not. When I parked at the rest stop in Indiana, I just was curious about the gray-haired motorcyclists and their Honda Gold Wing. I was handed gifts of encouragement, humor, energy, vision and love for the Lord. I hope I’m like them if I get to be 77. Or, maybe even today.