Tuesday, May 24, 2011

There's Always a Way

One week before I began my senior year in high school, a few of my friends and I decided to load up our motorcycles and head to the sand dunes about thirty miles from my house. We spent much of the day having fun, jumping our dirt bikes over the dunes, and enjoying the heat from the desert sun.
After a few hours of riding, one of my friends suggested that we head to a location knows as "The Rock." This place was found about five miles over the dunes from the closest road. After discussing it for a bit, we put our helmets on, kick started our bikes, and started out on the trek. We passed over dozens of dunes and were only about two miles from our destination when my motorcycle began to sputter. I traveled just a few more feet, and the the two-cycle engine died. Being a little puzzled with the situation, I tried to kick start the bike so that we could continue on our journey. However, I couldn't kick start it. The kick-start wouldn't budge, it was stuck in place.

The friends who were with me noticed that I hadn't been following them, so they turned around to see how they could help. As we were examining the motorcycle we found that the T-valve which connected the radiator to the motor to keep it cool had broken off, and all of the fluid found in the radiator had leaked out. Not only that but now the engine was full of sand. The intensity of the situation heightened when we realized that we were in the middle of the sand dunes with a broken down motorcycle and no way to fix it. Our pulses quickened more when we realized that we only had about an hour and a half of sunlight left.

As we pondered what we should do, the thought came to our minds to pray. We prayed for direction, and we prayed that we would all make it out of the desert safe. After conversing with our Heavenly Father, we decided that two of us would stay with the broken down motorcycle while the other two went back to camp and took the T-valve off of one of their motorcycles and retrieved water so that we might possibly fix the problem and be able to ride the wounded motorcycle out of the treacherous dunes.  So I, along with another friend of mine, stayed behind and waited in the middle of large sand crater with sand dunes on every side, while my other two friends went back to acquire the necessities for fixing the wreckage. We waited, and waited, and waited, and.... waited. It seemed like an eternity had passed, and the sun began to make its decent. As the shadows began to creep along the sand, killing any hope we had of making it home in the comfort of daylight, our rescuers returned with the tools needed to fix the motorcycle.

We put the T-valve on, filled the radiator with water, and began to kick the kick-start with all our might in a hope that the bike would start and return us safely home. We kicked, and kicked, and kicked, and... kicked. The bike was just not going to start. By this time we were grateful that we had headlights on the ATVs that my friends were riding. We shown them on the scene of the breakdown and worked our hardest to fix it. At this point we realized that even if we did get the bike running, it had no headlight so maneuvering it over the dunes would prove to be a daunting task. We were at a loss and had no idea what to do. We couldn't just sit here and allow ourselves to perish in the desert.  We each decided to pray, and pray, and pray, and....pray. We prayed that the Lord would help us to overcome this situation, and that he would lead us home.

After praying with all of our might, I felt impressed to kick the kick-start of the bike until it started. I swung make leg over the seat and began to kick, and kick, and kick, and... kick. I kicked until I couldn't kick anymore,  but we weren't going to give up. One of my friends took his turn and kicked as hard as he could. He kicked three times and the bike began to sputter, nearly to a start. He kicked again with the same result. Then with all the strength he could muster he kicked one last time. The bike roared to an idle.

Now that we had it started we had to figure out how to get home. Al l four of the young men who were present, excluding myself, hopped onto the two ATVs with headlights that we had, and I jumped onto my motorcycle. Our plan was to have one set of headlights in front to follow and one that would follow me so that I might be able to see where I was heading. Though the plan seemed to work in theory, actually executing it proved to be difficult. As we came to different slopes, hills, and climbs that populated the dunes, seeing the best route to take was often difficult. However, I found that if I followed the lights in head of me on the exact route they took, they would never lead me into danger.

Six hours after this my motorcycle had broken down, we made our way over the night-darkened sand dunes, and we found our way back home. It was not easy and it took a lot of concentration, but we were able to make it to our final destination safe and sound.

Much like when I had broken down in a barren place far from home, we often come across trials in our lives that leave us feeling helpless and alone. . We had fixed the T-valve and filled the radiator with water, but we still had a difficult time getting the bike to start. In life, sometimes when we feel that we have fixed one problem, another problem arises. It's important that we remain diligent and faithful. Sometimes we have to kick when we don't want to kick. As we exercise faith in Christ and continue to push forward with diligence he will give us the strength we need to face the challenges of life. The most important thing we did in this experience is that we called on the Lord for help. We are never alone. The Lord is always there to bear us up and give us strength that our burdens may be made light. The Lord invites us to come unto him when he said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Mathew 11:28).

As we travel throughout life, sometimes it is hard to find our way. The world can be deceiving and sometimes we may feel that we are about to fall off the hill. The Lord has given us a light and a beacon to follow. He has given us his gospel and He has set the example before us. If we follow his commandments and live his teachings, we will be led through this dark and dreary world back into his presence. He can and will lead us home.

I know that Christ lives and as we lay our troubles on him, he will give us the strength we need to do all things that He asks us to do. He loves us and wants us to be as happy, and through his teachings, we will be.

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