I have never been a horse rider of any merit, whatsoever.

My wife has had many horses growing up in North Queensland and was a Pony Club / Dressage regular. My sister also had a number of horses growing up on our farm in southern Victoria; and as much as she loved them and they loved her, each of my sister’s horses sought to be my mortal enemy.

Each of them at some point launched me into the stratosphere to then land unceremoniously on the ground. Each of them chose to make my riding experience a sheer misery of coaxing, begging and pleading with them to do what they were told. In plain English, I am no horseman.

So, motorbike riding was my transport mode of choice. In fact, I never purchased my first car until I was married: it was just two wheels for me all the way. In fact, in chatting with my brother a few weeks ago we estimated I have owned somewhere between 15-20 motor bikes in my life, starting with my first little Honda 50 at around age 5.

Now in truth 70% of those were second hand purchases or hand me downs from my CRAZY older cousins who in the time before extreme sports, lived out extreme riding. All my riding aspirations were based on watching them soar with effortless ease up the steepest inclines, across the biggest gaps and across the most inhospitable terrain.

Whilst I no longer ride, or even own a bike (a sad story for another day) in my heart, my mind and in truth my soul, I am still a rider. Whether I am watching MotoGP, DAKAR or FINKE, Australian or Us MX / Supercross or the world’s most dangerous road race ‘The Isle of Mann TT’ I CANNOT sit still watching others ride. I find myself leaning, legs twitching or shoulders sloping as the riders do their thing. I see it, I remember; and I want to do it.

I remember the feeling. I remember the sensations, the sounds, the choices and decisions being made and my body recalls and seeks to act it out once more. I was never a professional rider, my mind’s eye has me knee and elbow dragging tarmac corners but in truth I probably just had my head titled on a slight angle as I crept around corners, or I have visions of myself soaring from jump to jump when in truth the tires may never have even left the ground! The older I get, certainly the better I was.

But I remember; even if that season of my life is past.

The Disciples had a similar experience once Jesus was gone. They recalled their time with Him: the sights, the sounds, the feelings, the life lessons. But He was not there. It was different. It required them to reach back and use what was, to fuel what would be. To make sure that they simply did not represent echoes of the past but direct reflections, representations and manifestation of what was. Pay it forward: Heaven style.

We are no different. As we travel through our life journey, we live out our seasons, our progressions, our moments. But then they pass, as all things do, and we must use recall, memory and lived experience to fuel our present and ideally super charge our future.

So as we head towards the final weeks of Term 3, what memories, what experiences, what events, lessons and learnings do you need to hold on to. What has motivated you this year that needs a refresh, a rekindle and recharge? 

Is it a relationship? Is it an attitude or approach? Is it a habit, a pattern of work or a sequence of choices?

Is it selfcare? Is it health? Is it time with God, time alone or time with others? Is it being in the moment, ready for the moment or moving beyond the moment?

Is it knowing that you are not yet done, not yet finished, over or overcome? Is it simply believing in your Why?

Whatever it is that you need to recall, in order to recharge, take a moment:

Look back, look up, look ahead and enjoy…

The ride.

This word of encouragement for Christian educators was written by Dean Bennetts, and distributed in The Bridge newsletter in 2023. Dean is the CEO of Adventist Education in North New South Wales, Australia.