Lessons From a Bicycle
My poor bicycle had been in the garage for several years, collecting dust. I’ve loved riding since childhood and missed it, so I pulled my bike out, pumped up the tires and started riding again. It’s true, you don’t forget how, but I had to work up to riding more than a couple of miles. Now I’m riding longer distances and loving it even more. It makes me happy to be out enjoying the fresh air and freedom, and the exercise is great too.
I’ve learned some lessons from riding and even found insight for our spiritual lives:
Don’t be in a rush; you might have to start slow to build strength and endurance. When riding a bike you don’t expect to be able to go a hundred miles the first time out. Why do we think we’ll be spiritually mature immediately? Becoming a Christian happens instantly but being one is a lifelong process.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Your bike and clothes may not be fancy but don’t let that keep you from having fun. We are unique and special. God works with us according to our individual personalities.
You might hit some bumps and even fall. It’s OK, just get back on. Life isn’t easy but God is there to help us keep going until we get home.
If you ride with someone, stay together. Look out for each other. We don’t go through life alone and need to help one another through the rough spots.
Going uphill is hard. If you have to walk partway, don’t worry about it. You are still moving. The extra effort we put in during the trials and problems makes us stronger and helps us trust God more. It also makes the smooth parts more enjoyable.
Enjoy the downhill parts but remember to hold on tight and watch for rocks. Be thankful and keep trusting God through the good times.
Always wear a helmet. Wear all the armor of God from Ephesians 6: “the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (NLT).
Keep your eyes on the road, but take time to notice the wildlife and flowers on the way. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Live in the moment and enjoy the blessings of grace. If you have bugs in your teeth, it just means you’ve been smiling a lot.
Are you inspired to get back on a bike? If you do, you’ll work off some calories and maybe add your own lessons to this list. If not, next time you see someone on a bicycle, give them room and thank God for the ride of life.
Tammy Tkach is the wife of Grace Communion International President, Joseph Tkach. She writes regular articles and “blogs” relating to our Christian walk.
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