We’ve all got power. Mind you I’ve lost a lot of power recently. It’s gone. I don’t think I’ll get it back for a long time. And no I don’t mean electricity – got that. And no I don’t mean power within the political life of our church – not sure I want that. I mean horsepower. My wonderful, but no longer mine Triumph RS955 motorcycle was rated at 120 horsepower. My new CBR125R motorcycle has 13.
And so now things are different. On my first motorcycle the throttle, the right twist-grip, acted more like a volume control. Twist the grip and the engine would get louder. Didn’t really feel like you were going any faster, but the engine sounded impressive. On my last bike the throttle acted more like an on/off switch. Twist the grip and you could be going very fast very quickly. And getting into trouble just as quick. On my new bike, I haven’t quite figured out what the throttle is for. The engine doesn’t get any louder. The bike doesn’t feel like it is going any faster either. Having lost power even my eating habits are changing as I’m scrambling to lose weight to better my power-to-weight ratio, or in this case, my power versus weight ratio.
Now that I have lamented over my loss of horsepower, I must admit that my little Honda is actually quite amazing. For city riding it is a joy to ride. I achieved 97 mpg the last time I checked and it is environmentally friendly. And by environmentally friendly I don’t just mean emissions; I’m now killing fewer bugs. They now seem to have the time to get out of the way. It is truly a wonderful motorcycle, though it is vastly different from the Triumph.
Despite the huge differences between my last bike and this one, some things remain the same. I can travel just as far. I can have just as much fun. I can get just as sore from riding too long. I can get hit by an inattentive driver just as easily. I can run into a pedestrian, a bicyclist or a car by my own inattentiveness just as easily. I can still get a speeding ticket. There is a huge difference in power, but I can get myself or others into a mess nonetheless.
You’ve got power. You may feel like you have 120 horsepower. You may feel like you have 13, but you’ve got it. And you can put it towards good purposes, or you can use it to get yourself and others into a mess. There are many, I’m sure, that are grateful for how Mother Teresa used her power. How many were devastated by how Hitler used his? There are public figures who have used their incredible power to affect millions and have become history-makers. We may not have that kind of power to affect that many people, but our lives affect others nonetheless, we also are history-makers in the lives of others. In the Bible it is written: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV) You’ve got power. Can it be said that you use it for “good works?” What kind of history are you making in the lives of others with the power you’ve got?
You’ve got power. You may feel like you have 13 horsepower while the people books get written about make 120. How about the One who gave us The Book? How about the history-writer? Google “most powerful engine” and you can find a diesel that creates 108,920 hp. Now that’s power!
“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11 NIV)