OUR SAY: What you measure out is what you will get back
IT'S been 17 years.
Yes, 17 years of reading brochures outlining International Motorcycle Tours conducted by Ferris Wheels - now World On Wheels.
Every year I've pored over the tours on offer and salivated at the prospect of joining a group.
These motorcycle adventure tours kicked off with Rajasthan (India) as the main destination, before including Nepal and the Himalayan region. And although this has been the one I've wanted to experience, the biggest hurdle has always been the cost.
Fast forward to 2017 and a dinner in Bourke to welcome the 30 riders who had been busy raising funds for the Fred Hollows Foundation - an idea conceived and directed by the co-owners of the WOW motorcycle adventure company.
After the Clarence Freedom Riders were singled out for an award for the best fundraising effort by a team, we were presented with a voucher donated by a travel agent in Sydney for redemption on flights associated with a WOW adventure tour. Brian told me it was mine.
The proverbial light bulb suspended above my head glowed brightly. Could this be the year? After 17 years of missed opportunities, could this be the catalyst that would set in motion The Dream?
I pondered the question on the long ride home. I remembered a small superannuation accumulation account in Sydney with about $10,000 in it. This would suffice to cover the cost of a tour. I began to get excited, and upon sharing these thoughts with my lovely wife upon my return, discovered that she was keen for me to embrace the opportunity. Bless her.
A Thunder Dragon Tour, riding Royal Enfield 'Bullet' 500cc motorcycles into the Himalayan region of Nepal, Bhutan and Northern India was scheduled to leave Australia on March 5. I still had time to sign up. The cost was US$7500. I decided that this was it - and filled out the application form.
When the credit union said that was equivalent to AUD$9,921.75 - about what I thought I had in the accumulation account - I paid for the tour and went home to check the balance.
That's when I fell out of my tree. I blinked, and looked again. But nothing had changed. The account balance stared back at me. It was $9,921.93!
I thought God had made a mistake. It was 18 cents more than I needed.
But no, God doesn't make mistakes. He was reminding me that there were other, smaller costs involved.
Was this a rather spectacular co-incidence? Or a chain of events confirming that God was intent on blessing our efforts to be as Christ to others - flowing as they did from an activity that had no other motive than to bring healing and hope to those whose lives could be immeasurably enriched by harvesting the generosity of good people?
Jesus said: "Give, and there will be gifts for you; a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap.” (By lap, he meant a fold or pocket in an Eastern outer garment). He added: "Because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.”