The Crooked shall be made straight
Todays UPI column
The voice of him who crieth in the wilderness, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every Valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.” (Isaiah 40:23-40)
So there I was…
…on a road between Highway 101 and Highway 1 in far northern California.
A rainforest roller coaster of a road. Biker bliss.
I am not going to name the road because too many of you and your Winnebagos already know where it is. But it goes from the redwoods to the ocean, and it just might be the crookedest road in America – it is certainly my favorite motorcycle road.
When they made this road through the prehistoric ferniness they banked those kinks and turns so precisely that a bike can whiz through there at speeds that cars can only dream of. Motorcycles chuckle at the suggested speed limits for those turns.
“Poors cagers – better slow down – Bye-Bye!”
Because of the superb banking, centripetal forces glue the blessedly two-wheeled to the curves, allowing you to lean at angles that just shouldn’t work. What appears to you citizens as a slow two-lane road is really at least a four lane white-water rapid to us, and we use all those lanes. If you can see through the next curve, the whole curve is yours to slice.
We do make the crooked straight.
And we do like the rough places to be plain. Gravel is not your friend on that road. You are balancing on about four square inches of rubber, two up front and two behind. You need all the contact you can get.
I cannot ride that road without singing Handel’s Messiah in the fabulous acoustics of my full-face helmet. Specifically the part where the prophet and lyricist Isaiah shouts out
“Prepare a highway for our God.” (see above)
Now it might seem at first listen that he is talking about the interstate through Nevada – flat, straight, smooth. But that is because you don’t understand. God is the ultimate crotch rocket and humanity is stuck in the Winnebago. God is infinitely nimble, infinitely powerful, God has more lanes than you, God plays by completely different rules. And God will pass your ‘bago on the right or the left like it was a concrete statue.
And doesn’t that just frost your cake?
God so often behaves like a hooligan.
Your messiest, most dangerous, serious switchback is God’s pipeline
– arrow straight, smooth and a kick in the pants.
And thus ends the metaphor, because God does not wipe out.
The important thing to do to prepare the road for God, is to get out of God’s way, and then pay attention.
Here is the message of Isaiah,
of angels hanging over the heads of shepherds,
of John the Baptist: Something big is about to come this way! Clear the runway, turn on the lights, God is about to land a 747 on your back forty in the middle of a hurricane!
You are so going to wet your britches, but seriously, Fear Not!
This is what Christmas is all about.
I respectfully suggest that the next Ducati be named the Emmanuel.