Denial - Not just a river in Egypt
When I was about 10 I bought myself a bike. It was a used, green “shopper” bike. Remember them? They handily folded in two so you could – what … looking back I’m not sure what the point of that really was ... I suppose with British cars being fairly small it would be useful to have an origami style bike. Mine also “handily” came undone and attempted to fold itself as I traversed busy roads and big hills. It even had a “dynamo” – a little cog like thing you could set against the wheel and it would generate power to run your lights. Well, actually what it did was make a horrible noise and make it much, much harder to pedal. Either way, people heard you coming rather than saw you, the light was pathetic! Bike rides were a fairly tense experience. But that is irrelevant; this story is about denial of the obvious truth.
So, I was on my way home on my bike, approaching a right hand turn (we’re in the UK remember – everything’s backwards) and I began to move out into the middle of the street to make my turn. No doubt I was off in my own dream world thinking about ponies and fluffy pencil cases and such. Anyway, as I began to drift out into the road BAM!!!!! A van hit me. It was just a glancing blow. It gave me a nasty fright but it didn’t really hurt me or anything. The van driver didn’t seem to be aware anything had happened and continued to drive on. When I had recovered myself I tried to set off again (this time looking behind me many, many times) but something was wrong. I kept starting to pedal but the bike would just slide towards the curb again and again. On closer inspection this is what had happened: The van had apparently knocked my wheel out of line with the handlebars – if the handlebars were in normal position the wheel was sideways! Always acutely self-conscious I decided to push my bike somewhere quiet and see what I could do with it. It was at this point the van driver returned. He jumped out and came over to me, ashen faced and shaking and asked if I was ok. “Yes” I replied nonchalantly. “Did I just hit you?” he asked in, a tone of some surprise. And as I stood there, holding my handlebars at a 90 degree angle, grubby and tear stained but attempting to appear normal, I felt it necessary to say “No”. His eyes flickered to my bike and back to my face with an unasked question in his eyes “I always ride my bike like this” I said “I like it”. I then attempted to walk stiffly away with my bike and dignity equally mangled. Even as I write this I can feel the hot stare of that guy boring into my back.
Now – my question is – why? What exactly did I think I would achieve by behaving the way I did? I have no idea. I’m sure he would have helped me either fix the bike or taken it home for me if I’d admitted the truth. But no. I felt I had done something stupid (I had) and to ask for help would mean admitting that fact.
Thank God we are all made new in Jesus - that person was as daft as a brush!