It was quite convenient to check in the Homewood Suites in Lexington. The gentleman at the front desk was amazing, he gave me a "good Samaritan" rate. He gave me this rate because that is what I needed... It was July 22nd and I was stopped for the day and checked into the Homewood Suites in Lexington. It was too early to be stopped for the day and although the room was wonderful and the people at the front desk gave me a great rate, I wasn't happy. I did enjoy the complimentary evening meal catered in by a great Italian restaurant in town and I ate, drank, and then did some reading and listened to the CD's for a while before I went to sleep.
I was in this particular Homewood suites because it was next door to the Harley Davidson Dealer in Lexington, Man O War Harley Davidson. It was called Man O War because of the famous race horse that was birthed on the farm on which this whole little development of business was sitting. I was at the Harley Davidson Dealer because I was trailered there, I was trailered there because My Harley stopped on highway 64 right outside of Lexington. It stopped because the clutch was burned to a crisp, largely, I was told, because of a terrible clutch adjustment. That brings me back to the Harley dealer in Morgantown, WV....but we better not go there.
Yes, I had only put on about 200 miles when I stopped moving right near a horse farm along the side of the highway. I knew the drill and I called. I told them I was right next to a large horse farm, the guy laughed and said that everyone in Lexington was at that moment sitting next to a large horse farm. We finally figured out where I was, they came and then they told me that the clutch was completely burned out and that they didn't have the parts that were needed for the repair. Not to worry, they would be air freighted in the next day and I would be on my way.
The next day dawned and found me by the pool, doing some more writing and reading, watching the sun rise and then packing my bags for the day's ride. I went over to the dealer but they told me the parts didn't make it because the Milwaukee airport was closed becasue of a big storm that put the whole place under water. I went back to the room and took out my journal and wrote, "I am not supposed to be here!" That is when I realized that God had showed up and began asking me "book of Job" like questions.
What did you really want from this trip? I thought you said that you wanted some solitude and a place to go to be alone and think and pray...you mentioned that you wanted to find a monastery where you could get away and be left alone to do the work that you wanted to do...you mentioned that you wanted to let me into some places in your heart that have been closed to me." Funny thing happens when God asks you questions, he doesn't give you answers, he just asks questions, good questions that put you in a place where you almost always have to reply, "oh yeah."
The thing was that I wanted to a place to do these things on my own terms, I wanted to be in control of the time and the place. I wanted to pick the place and not to have to worry about another repair bill and my schedule and all of the things that were swirling around in my head. God had some more questions for me, "you like control don't you?" "You tell other people that 'control is a myth' but you rarely put yourself in a place where you are not in it." I tried to listen more to this quiet questioning voice but the other voices in my head were drowning it out.
What I wrote in my journal was my conclusion: "I guess I am supposed to be right where I am but...." and then I couldn't finish the sentence...there were no "buts" really. No but's. I still wasn't really convinced. Now, looking back I can see that the fact is that you are always supposed to be right where you are and if it doesn't fit into your plan or if you think something had gone wrong in the divine scheme you are simply wrong. I didn't like to be wrong and I didn't want to be here, but I now know that "there" was precisely where I was supposed to be.
This was Friday and the shop told me that the parts would be in by Saturday morning at about 10:00. I called my wife and texted my friend in San Antonio, telling them both that I had no idea when I would leave and what would happen next...that uncertainity as to my next move opened a place in my heart into which God would move and clear out some things that I didn't even know where there.
I have to stop now becasue the memory of that day...especially the next morning is a little overwhelming for me. It was one of those times, the 24 hours between Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon that changed the course of my life with God and everyone else that I know. It was a hinge of history in my life and, I think, one of the most merciful things that God has ever done for me. It all revolves around some feelings that I had never felt before, loneliness and abandonment. I was discouraged and for the first time on this trip I admitted it to John, my friend in San Antonio.
I have to say to set up my next post that I was now out of money. I meant to stop an automatic payment of a large sum of money from my checking account the day before but I had forgotten to do it. The payment was based on a budget that seemed to be fine before I spent the money that I had left at different shops around the country, now about $1600.00. I had some cash in my pocket but no cash machine was going to give me more, I only had my debit card, no credit cards and no one was near to help me.
This is Man O'War Harleydavidson in Lexington KY and the shop is aptly named considering what would happen in my heart in a hotel just two doors down.