Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 5, 2008

The Motorcycle Man

   I saw an interesting thing while stopped at a red light. I could not help but notice the fellow in the lane beside me. He was a big guy sitting on a big motorcycle. While the light was red and traffic in other lanes was speeding by, the motorcycle man was calmly leaning back making some sort of adjustment to his rear wheel with a pair of silver vice-grip pliers! Every few seconds he would glance forward to check the status of the light while trying to tighten or loosen or adjust or readjust whatever it was that was locked between the jaws of his pliers. I watched with great interest until the light turned green. The fellow then turned around, gripped the handlebars of his bike, and sped on to his destination.

   Now, I don’t know much about motorcycles. In fact, I don’t know anything about motorcycles. But I do have a healthy measure of common sense — which makes me wonder why a fellow riding something with only two wheels would make repairs on one of those wheels at a stop light. I could not help but wonder if Mr. Goodpliers continued his repair work at the next traffic light, or if he even made it to the next light.

   The more I thought about the motorcycle man, the less uncommon and unusual the whole thing seemed. There are lots of people who are just like him — people whose lives are in need of some tightening or loosening or adjustment or readjustment but who are too busy to stop and properly make repairs; people who insist on trying to fix problems on the run; people who will not stop to make minor adjustments and corrections; people who feel that as long as the wheels keep turning and the motor makes noise everything is alright; people who feel no urgency about stopping for repairs until the wheels fall off their lives and they come crashing to a bloody halt. And, then it takes more than a pair of pliers and thirty seconds at a stop light to make repairs. In some cases all the king’s horses and all the king’s men cannot put the pieces back together again.

   Yes, there are many people who are just like the motorcycle man. I know people whose marriages are not running right but who will not take the time to stop for repairs. Instead, they run their troubled marriages at full throttle hoping to make it to the next light. I know parents whose parenting is not running properly and kids whose obedience is seriously out of alignment — parents and kids who are too busy to stop to talk about their problems. Just plain good-intentioned folks who try to make repairs on the run or who have convinced themselves things are not really that bad. Until the wheels fall off. And then fingers point, tempers flare, voices are raised, accusations are made, feelings are hurt, and damage is done.

   What’s in need of repair in your life? Don’t wait until your wheels fall off to get serious about repairs. God is willing to roll up His divine sleeves to help you. If things are not running properly and you hear the annoying rattles that signal bigger problems, then pull off the road into God’s garage before you end up in the junk-yard! He can do amazing things with a pair of pliers!

• • • • •

Note | I recorded this observation on a yellow legal pad in May 1991.


  1. Omar, what a story! God most surely has His hand on you, directing your thoughts and putting words in your mouth. What a wonderful, clear picture of our limping lives you present here, and how neatly you offer the simple solution. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.