In Praise of the Helmet! Ephesians 6:17

black-eye-2011-6-13I’ve not been happy with the picture on my blog header for some time, so how about this one?  It’s not quite as bad now as when this was taken in the ER at Riverview Hospital last evening, though currently the eye is swollen shut.  I had ridden 18 miles, planning for 30 when everything went blank.  I came through Forest Park across the White River into Noblesville, approaching just north of the old Hamilton County Courthouse.

I knew I had to hit the old railroad tracks at an angle to keep from slipping into the cracks and wrecking.  What happened?  I don’t know.  I don’t remember falling and wrecking my bike.  The next thing I recall is being loaded into the ambulance, then I was at the hospital to check for broken body parts. All tests came back with good news – no spinal injury, no bleeding in the brain, no broken bones; just a few bruises and abrasions, so I was released to go home.  My only handicaps are temporarily reading with one eye and discomfort in my right hand when typing.  Apparently, I kept my grip on the handle bars and my fingers were pressed between the bar and the pavement.

So, upon reflection, praise God for helmets.  I remember when I thought helmets were for sissies.  I remember when our then preteen son was doing bike tricks with some neighbor kids and hit a curb without a helmet and suffered a concussion.  My helmet and my glasses may have conspired to make the black eye worse, but my helmet protected me from a potentially serious head injury.

Experiences like this remind us of how fragile life is.  When my wife got the call from the police that I’d had a bike accident and was being taken to the hospital, she had no idea how bad it was.  As the message passed quickly to our children, they were all left without information and frightening possibilities.  But whether in life or in death, there is a helmet that every person should wear that is called the “helmet of salvation.”  Drawing from imagery in Isaiah 59:17, Paul urges every person to “take up the whole armor of God,” donning the “belt of truth, …the breastplate of righteousness, … shoes for …readiness, …the shield of faith, …the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.” Ephesians 6:10-20

Thanks to Russ for picking up my bike and keeping it safe.  I’m anxious to get back on, helmet firmly in place; I have many more miles to travel, Lord willing.  Thank God for helmets, especially the Helmet of Salvation, the assurance that my eternal salvation is based completely on what Jesus Christ has done for me, not on my best efforts or life’s surprises.

Don’t risk it – Wear your helmets, both of them!

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