What are you determined to do before you die? Many of you will likely have experiences and adventures on your bucket list. But what if there were significant obstacles between you and your dream? Vision’s Chaplain, Rob Mann, recently helped a friend achieve one of his lifelong goals, and learnt a lot about himself and God along the way.
Rob’s son Andrew had always wanted to cast a fishing line off the tip of Cape York, Australia’s northernmost point. His original plan was to ride his motorbike all the way from Brisbane to Cairns, drive from there to Cape York and back, then ride home again, a journey of 6,500 kilometres. “Well, that’s really stupid,” Rob said to him.
Rob suggested instead that he take Andrew’s motorbike to Cairns on a trailer, so Andrew could fly in and ride from there. Andrew loved the idea. He soon learned that his workmate, John, also shared his dream. But there was a problem. John had motor neurone disease, a debilitating condition which gradually causes complete paralysis. Already suffering impaired mobility, he had less than two years left to live.
John felt he couldn’t join them on their trip, fearing he’d be a burden. “Listen,” Rob said. “If Andrew and I can’t do everything we can do to give you the chance to do something like that, we’re pretty weak human beings.”
John flew into Cairns with Andrew, then joined Rob in his four-wheel-drive, while Andrew rode up ahead. The journey was far from smooth. Several times, Andrew had to conduct emergency repairs on his bike, drilling holes in the thermostat to prevent overheating, and disassembling the carburetor to fix a fuel leak. “The ability to face adversity, and find a problem, and then to apply himself and fix it, I learnt something that day.”