They say the Honda Dream is the dream of every Cambodian.
The Honda Dream is a motorbike and–like the Accord in the United States–is both common, and commonly stolen. I quickly learned this after a few friends saw that I had a Dream. They never fail to make sure I lock my bike well whenever we leave it in a public place.
As it turns out, public places aren’t the only places to be careful.
Last night, as usual, I arrived home before our 10 o’clock curfew, when the owner of the apartment building locks the front gate. When the gate is locked, there is no coming in or going out for residents of the 15 apartments until morning. At least that’s the vision. It’s a padlock that only the owner has the keys to.
I put my bike up on its stand, a little closer to the gate than usual because other bikes had taken the far spots. I locked the wheel sideways and put a chain lock through the front tire. Then I climbed two flights of stairs up to our third floor apartment.
At 4:30 this morning my roommate got a call.
“They took all the bikes.” Our next door neighbor was downstairs with a small crowd. In these low-cost apartments, many of the residents are college students from the provinces. A male student was sitting a little dazed, looking at his cell phone. Others were quietly talking.
My bike was still there, as were all the others except the Dream that had been parked next to mine the night before. No one had heard anything. The front gate had been taken off its hinges without making a noise, and the thieves had whisked the boy’s bike away.
Unfortunately, my Khmer isn’t good enough yet to understand what people were saying, and I don’t know how this loss is going to affect that student’s situation.
Now, an event like this naturally brings up the thought, “thank God that He kept my bike safe.” But I’m going to refrain from claiming this, because I don’t know that God intervened to keep the thieves from taking my bike, also. He certainly could have. Locks can be broken. But maybe the thieves didn’t even try.
And it’s such a bad situation for that poor student. He might need a bike more than I do. If God kept mine safe, why not his, too?
Instead of saying more about what I don’t know, I’m reminded of a lesson: every good thing we have, especially the mundane, is actually full of glory. Anything can be lost in a moment, no matter how many locks you put on it; it only takes one night–sometimes less than that. And so this Dream that I have, I should enjoy and use with intentionality every day. I should bless other people with it.
Matthew 24 concludes the idea of one being taken and the other left with a simple statement. “Therefore keep watch.”
We don’t know a lot of things. We don’t know how long we’ll live, who we’ll end up living with, or where we’ll spend our lives. We don’t even know when our defining term as Adventists–the Second Advent–is going to happen.
So keep watch. Live intentionally. Appreciate everything. Pray without ceasing.Action question: what if I gave my Dream to this student that lost his bike? Would that be a good idea? Why or why not? (It’s a bit more complicated, because this is actually ASAP’s bike, not mine. So I don’t plan to give it away. But I face these sorts of questions a lot in other cases with my own things, and I’m interested in hearing other people’s thoughts about risky generosity.)