“What goes up must come down. Spinnin’ wheel got to go ’round. Talkin’ ’bout your troubles it’s a cryin’ sin. Ride a painted pony let the spinnin’ wheel spin.” (1968/1969) Spinning Wheel – Blood, Sweat & Tears. Composer: David Clayton-Thomas
Calendar days. That’s how we think of the months and years. Am I right? It’s just another page to be turned, or torn off the wall calendar. It’s funny how we visualize such things.
A couple of years after Blood, Sweat & Tears released “Spinning Wheel”, I became the proud owner of a genuine “Crazy Wheel” from Goodyear! Are you old enough to remember those? It was the newest, coolest thing for Sting Ray bicycles. The tires came in COLORS! Not just various colors, but with a wild, bold pinstripe color along the rim-walls. Every kid in America wanted a set of these. I think I got one for Christmas from my mom. We were dirt poor, so she gave me one for my front tire. It was green with a red rim-wall stripe. I was beside myself. Not only was I proud of the green Crazy Wheel, with the red pinstripe, but I was the only kid at my school to have one. When I pulled up to the bike rack, each school morning, you could hear, “Cool!”, “Wow!”, or “That’s so stud!” (Yes, an odd expression we said back in those days.) I loved my new Crazy Wheel. Although my Sting Ray bike was metallic gold, with a tiger-stripe banana seat, the green with red stripe on my front wheel was, well…..crazy! (Although the general idea was to match a Crazy Wheel color with the bike frame shade. Some did just that.)
I suppose I may have been a bit over the top with my pride and enthusiasm. Each time I rode my bike around the block, or after my ride to school and back, I checked to see if the new tire got dirty. I would turn the bike upside-down, spin the wheel to take a 360 view of every inch of the tread, just scoping out where there might be a spec of road dirt. Yep, I guess I was overreaching a bit. Usually, without fail, the brush, rags and water came out for some good old-fashioned elbow grease. And I would scrub and rub, and rub and scrub that tire until it looked brand new once again. It was hard work for an 11 year old. As you can imagine, I did all I could to avoid puddles, potholes or cracks in the pavement. Somehow, they just seemed to jump out in front of me.
One of the wildest shenanigans, us boys-on-bikes would do, is set up plywood ramps to jump for popping wheelies in the air. Then, there was a fairly deep creek bed, at a local park by the school, where the more courageous would jump it from one side to the other. Truly, we were idiots. Many of us broke bones and sprained knees and ankles. We rolled with the punches in our bike-club. I blame it all on Evil Knievel, the stunt performer, who was all the rage at the time doing daring things with his motorcycles. Yep, we were all so impressionable. My poor green tire got downright muddy doing those knuckle-headed stunts. I always sprayed it clean with a garden hose, often before patching myself up before my mom noticed.
2019 will be much like a spinning wheel. It’s bright, shiny and new. We think of January as the “beginning”, but really, in light of who we are and how the universe works, it’s just another scroll on a linear line of days ahead of us.
Like a wheel, we’ve lived many a January in the past and now it’s just another one come to make full-circle. Each day coming will be full of potholes, creek beds and ramps to jump. No doubt, we all will get soiled weathering the coming days of 2019. Yet, there’s always washing and scrubbing to be applied, and certainly, even repairs. Of course, there will be brilliant, victorious, shining days ahead, as well. When they come, swim in it headlong because the days will be short. For some, there may be mud puddles and quicksand bogs just around the corner, seemingly jumping out in front of the tire. Sometimes turning the wheel won’t be good enough to avoid these upcoming snares. But when these times come, recall your true color beneath the smudges that suddenly layer upon you.
Needless to say, the Crazy Wheel never cleaned itself. I had to do it because I am of a different nature, a different creation, made for a greater purpose. The Crazy Wheel was just a tool for the road ahead. You will find some soul-soil stains beyond your personal efforts in elbow grease. If you’ve lived long enough, you already have discovered this to be true, if honest.
Show your bold stripe in 2019! Wherever your talents apply themselves, ring out your true colors and allow God Himself to buff things out that you can’t negotiate, scrub or rub out.
When cleaning off the 2019 road dust, it’s best to soak it in fuel for the race.
“Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be whiter than snow.” – King David, Psalm 51:7 (NAS)