How many of you remember minibikes? These “bikes” were smaller than motorcycles, and used a smaller engine. I thought they looked like lawnmower engines, but maybe they were bigger. The minibikes were fun, but you had to have space on your property to ride them. They weren’t legal for riding on the streets or public highways (at least in the late 60’s/early 70’s. That’s what we were told was the law, anyway!)
Now, a good number of us in our early teens talked about them, dreamed about them, and talked about them some more, but none of us thought we would end up with one. Approaching the parents with a reasonable request got me a resounding NO from both. I got the message!
But when we heard about a classmate losing his life due to a minibike accident, a lot of us, myself included, lost a lot of interest. Remember, in those days, hardly anybody wore helmets, and only the serious motorcycle riders wore leather protective garments. What happened to Dean (not his real name) is still a mystery, many years later.
A word about Dean. I now live in a different state but in our state, at the time, elementary students were promoted to junior high after completing the sixth grade. Completing ninth grade got you to high school, and then you went your way into your chosen pathway. This was the standard way of life for many, perhaps even now.
Sadly, Dean never got that chance. Now, I can still see him, in memory, walking the hallways of our junior high school, moving from class to class. I never knew him personally as he was a year ahead of me in school, and in fact I don’t think we ever spoke to each other. None of that matters now, of course, as he is no longer alive on this earth. I still wonder if he ever made his commitment to Jesus Christ during his lifetime.
You see, Dean died, as a result of his accident, when he was between grades 8 and 9. He was right around 13 years of age. I of course refused to believe it at first, but then, one day when my mother visited her mother’s grave, I wandered around and sure enough, I saw Dean’s grave. The information had his name, the years of birth and death—and nothing more, no headstone, nor marker, just a metal something like a cardholder to mark his final resting place.
I prayed at Dean’s grave. I remember saying something (remember, I was only 11 or 12 at the time, myself) like, “Lord, please be good to him . . .” when I realized, there was nothing anyone could do for Dean.
He was gone, and that was that.
The lesson for us comes from Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes 12:1, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them (King James Version)”. Dean died young, perhaps before his time. Don’t forget your Creator.
If you should have a life-ending accident, are you prepared to meet your Creator?
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