I (Jennifer) would like to introduce you to our guest this week, Tracy’s husband, Sam Stella. He’s continuing our topic: What are you going back to? The Facets team think you’ll enjoy reading his story about God bringing something wonderful out of an old interest of his. Kick back with your favorite cuppa and enjoy the ride, friend.
I (Sam) was asked to guest write this month and, truthfully, I’m a little nervous about placing my words on the same site with such beautiful writers. I’m not typically a writer, but God has given me such great stories to share with others, I guess they thought I might have plenty of material.
My story starts back in September on my 10th birthday of being a Christ follower. God brought me back to a desire I had as a young man—to own a motorcycle. I found myself in a paint shop sitting on a 1974 Honda CL450. The second I sat on it a big smile came to my face and old passion was ignited. The passion was so strong I started saving money from my small weekly allowance.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 NIV
Fast forward to February, and the temperature outside was 70 degrees. The local motorcycle shop had all the bikes lined up outside, and it was calling my name. Tracy and I turned in just to have a look, since my savings was only about $450.
In the back of my mind, I hoped Tracy would say, “You’ve worked hard. Just get one.”
She never said that, but she was a good sport when I asked her to throw her leg over one of the bikes outside the store. She hesitated but gave in to my persistence. She threw her leg over one and said, “I always wanted a Candy Apple Red motorcycle.”
Seeing her smile, I knew we stumbled on a hidden passion in Tracy as well. Oh no—now I needed to save enough to buy two motorcycles.
As a believer, I try my best to include God in all my decisions and included the bike purchase into my morning prayer. Yes, I was praying to God about motorcycles. My prayer was more a list of questions. God, why do I have such a strong passion? Lord, what is it you’re doing in this? What will you do in this, Lord? Lord, I pray to hear you clearly. Lord, is Tracy to get a bike as well?
This prayer time was interjected with other prayers I had been praying for a while. One was that Tracy and I could find a healthy outlet to refresh on the weekend from her job as Program Director for a home that restores women who have been rescued from sex trafficking.
Another prayer heavy on my heart was that, over the years, it seemed my two brothers and I had become distanced and rarely interacted much beside holidays. My prayer was that God would bring us back to the brotherly bond we had when we were young.
To move this story along—I eventually picked up a small, clutch-driven motorcycle I could use to teach Tracy how to ride. The purpose of the bike was just that, but it needed a little work before it would run.
It just so happens my brother, Scott, restored an older bike, and I called him for help. He knew exactly what I needed to do to the bike to get it running, and he had the tools for me to take the motorcycle apart. God provided a great opportunity for us to interact.
When the bike was running, Tracy and I needed a place for her to learn how to ride a clutch-driven motorcycle. One of my recent real estate clients was a pastor of a church and had a nice big field and parking lot that he offered us to use. It turned out to be a perfect place for a first ride. Tracy picked it up quickly and moved off the lawn to the pavement right away. Once we got on the pavement, my prayers were really ratcheted up for her safety as she whizzed around the lot with a big smile screaming, “I did it! I did it! I’m riding a motorcycle.”
God answered the prayer we asked for in our small group the night before: for Tracy and I to have time to disconnect from work and laugh and be filled with joy. Prayer answered, Tracy and I had a blast. And for the first time in weeks, we had a refreshing weekend. Who says God doesn’t work through motorcycles? We were refreshed.
A couple weeks later Scott called and asked if I wanted to go to a bike night at the Harley dealer with him and a friend. I thought, “Really? I’m riding a 1974 Honda CL125.” But he was serious, and I went. Below is a photo of the motorcycles lined up ready to go. The cool one on the right is mine.I began praying, How does my brother, Sandy, fit into this, God?
He answered that, too. Sandy watched Tracy on Facebook having a blast riding our little motorcycle. He was amazed my cool wife was riding. This ignited an old passion of Sandy’s too.
After a few weeks of practicing, Tracy and I attended the motorcycle class at the local college, and Tracy passed. She’s a licensed motorcycle rider now.
I wanted her to have a helmet right away. We went to a local motorcycle shop to purchase one. Before leaving the store we ended up talking with a sales guy and mentioned I wanted to purchase a 2005 or newer Honda Shadow Aero 750 for her. I thought it would be a good starter bike. Tracy added that she would like it to be candy apple red.
That same night we got a call from the shop, and they just happened to have a 2005 Honda Shadow Aero 750. And the color was Candy Red. Ok, the apple was missing, but I give all the credit to God for leading us to her new motorcycle. The next day we purchased it for her birthday.
My brother Sandy saw this on Facebook and called me up. He was shocked to see Tracy riding such a big bike and decided, “That’s it, I’m getting one.” So Sandy and I headed to Wisconsin to look for his bike at a couple of large dealers. When he walked into the second shop a bike caught his eye right away. He purchased a beautiful 2010 Harley Street Glide.
God had his hand on the purchase, I think. The bike needed a new front tire so Sandy wasn’t able to take the bike home that night. Since Sandy still didn’t have his license, he needed someone to drive it home for him. Once the bike was ready, Scott offered to help get it home. The two of them spent the day picking up the bike and had all that time to bond. God has his ways, and I truly believe this was him working on us brothers.
Ok, I ask again—who says God doesn’t work through motorcycles?
At this point both brothers and my wife had nice motorcycles. I was sitting with my little CL125, which barley went 45 mph. On the evening of July 3rd I posted it for sale and prayed God would bring a buyer for it. Within an hour God had a guy text me about the bike. I called him, and he said he wanted to come get it the next day. I agreed if he came early.
He stopped by at 8:30 in the morning and rode away by 9:30. It sold for a little more than I paid, and now it was time to find a bigger bike.
I looked for a Honda Shadow Spirit model, a 2007 or newer. The closest one was 3 hours away, and I couldn’t go look because the workweek had started. The next day at work I decided to check again—again, God provided. The exact bike I was looking for was 15 minutes away, and the price was right.
I drove out on lunch and purchased the bike.
Come on, what are the chances of that? God definitely has his hand on this.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Today as I write it’s July 26th, and yesterday I was nervous about this post because the vision God laid on my heart had yet to fully mature. I prayed to God yesterday that I needed his help in bringing us three brothers together. God, I have a deadline for this article…
That same day God arranged for us brothers to take our first ride together—the three of us. Here is a picture just before heading out.In September of 2016 I thought God was bringing me back to an old passion for a material item, a motorcycle. To my surprise, God planned all along to provide for a desire that has been in my heart ever since giving my life to him over 10 years ago: the desire to bond again with my brothers like we did when we were young.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
As an added bonus, he also provided me with the bride I prayed for—an active, adventure-loving bride.
I want you to know God’s hand is in everything you do, and if you take joy in the Lord, he will give you the desires of your heart.
This may appear to be the end of the story, but I know it’s only the beginning and faithfully look forward to what God has planned. Amen