As a kid, one of my best Christmas gifts Santa brought me, was a black & gold, BMX bike! Man, I loved that bike.

On Christmas morning, the second my eyes adjusted and I saw the bike ‘shining’ there next to the Christmas Tree, I knew instantly that bike and I had some serious business to take care of, pronto!

We were going to tackle the “big hill” that went down to the marina! That hill was high & steep and very dangerous to a boy like me. But, I was brave and me and my brand-new, tricked-out, BMX bike could conquer that hill! I just knew it! I knew I could blast down that hill 100mph and survive to tell the story.

I also knew back then, my “Lake Corpus Christi” friends would all want to take turns on my new bike! It was a beautiful bike and was very shiny. I’d soon be the talk of the neighborhood and my bike would soon become a legend!

My sister’s bike was nice too. We both had new, shiny bikes. But, my BLACK & GOLD MONSTER BIKE was a force to be reckoned with! I took my bike over to my friends house and we went riding around the neighborhood and eventually built up the courage to attempt to go down “THE HILL”. I would go first of course.

There I was, at the top of a mountain! I was parked as I surveyed the road below as it twisted out of sight and into the marina. I calculated my moves in my my mind first. I knew there was a speed bump at the bottom right where the road twisted and turned to the right.

To the left was a bunch of RV’s where the Winter-Texans would hang out and play cards. If I missed the turn to the right and went straight, I’d end up in the cold, December Lake!

There I was, parked at the top… my friend as quiet as a mouse. A gentle breeze ran across my face, and I was off! Down the hill I went!

…Slowly at first, you could not help but build up speed. I can still feel the wind and my eyes tearing up as I dashed down the “big hill”!

My heart raced as I must have been going 140mph down the hill…!! You could hear the retirees gasping for air as they stopped their card games to watch history in the making!

My arms trembled as I approached “The Turn”… I leaned to the right, almost touching the ground like a motorcycle pro… and sped around the turn… BAM! Then I sprang upright as I hit the SPEED-BUMP and jumped-high into the sky like Evel Knievel! SWOOOSH!

In what seemed like slow motion, I twisted my handlebars as I flew through the sky! SWIISSSSH!

In one quick motion… I landed, jerked the bike back on course, sped into the marina gravel-parking lot, slammed on my breaks and skid for what seemed like eternity!

You could hear the crowd cheering, cars honking, and fireworks popping as a huge cloud of dirt followed behind me, then engulfed me.

As the cloud of dirt settled and faded, I became visible again, just parked there like a statue in the marina parking lot, with a huge smile from ear-to-ear. At first, there was no sound, just silence. You could see my friend running towards me, pumping his arms in jubilation, cheering and yelling and celebrating my triumph! It was like the 4-minute mile being broken, or the sound barrier being broken, or like landing on the moon!

All that was left was the stories.

Hill conquered.

BMX Bike… black & gold, now legendary.

Lake friends… blown-away!

Retiree-Winter-Texans… amazed!

Yeah, that Black & Gold BMX Bike… that was special. That was Christmas. That was a blessing. There *IS* good in this world. There is a lot of good in this world.

That year, I must have told my mom & dad 1,000 times I wanted a black & gold BMX bike for Christmas. I remember my Mom saying that maybe I’d get it if I was good.

This Christmas, I get to live through my son’s eyes as he experiences his 5th Christmas. I get to watch my wife, eager to make our son happy as can be, buy him too many gifts.

I get to watch my son conquer fears, become brave and have courage to tackle big obstacles. This Christmas, I think about that bike… and “that big scary hill”… and I think about the current scary hill’s I have to conquer… and how after all these years, I still must build-up courage all the time.

I think about faith. I think about God. I think about giving and sharing. I think about good people who have big hearts and who care for each other. I think about heroes and soldiers. I think about love, and family, and friendship and parenting and hope.

I think about Christmas and what it means to me. I think about what it means to be blessed and to have faith. I’ll always remember that big hill and that bike, but most of all, I’ll remember the courage, excitement and happiness!

And, I’ll remember my mother who left us too soon, but not before she showered us with so much love, a lifetime of love, and a ton of good. She was special. She was good. There *is* good in this world. EVERYDAY IS CHRISTMAS! Merry Christmas!

Live With Faith!