I’d forgotten how exhilarating a bike ride could be! Whew! Even though I wasn’t able to ride my trusty Schwinn (unidentified brake problems), I still feel so powerful after climbing those hills. As I finished though I started thinking about how riding a bike is similar to going through the Christian life.
In Philippians, Paul talks about pressing forward towards the goal of being more like Christ. He admits that he’s not perfect nor has he achieved the goal yet, but he keeps moving forward. (Philippians 3:12-21) When I’m biking uphill, I realize just how out of shape and imperfect I am. My initial reaction is just to get off the bike and walk the hill, but determination to succeed keeps pushing me forward, no matter how slowly I move. It should be the same way in my Christian walk. At times I feel stuck in my faith and feels like I’m trodding uphill in my faith. I get unmotivated to maintain a daily time with God because I don’t feel the emotional connection. Still though I must imitate Paul, push forward, and be disciplined.
When I first started riding farther than to the stop sign a block from my house, I often wanted to quit. Not even my pride to keep up with my friends pushed me to keep going. They’d peddle up the foreboding “Walmart” hill, and I’d stop to walk it up. Once I got to the top and found them waiting, I’d feel insignificant and weak. It wasn’t until I started disciplining myself that I realized the satisfaction of pushing myself up a hill and actually making it. The writer of the book of Hebrews says “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11) In my spiritual life, it may be difficult to get up those few minutes earlier to read my Bible or say no to friends when they want to hang out during church times, but the rewards of being disciplined in what I know I need in order to maintain a strong relationship with God is always worth it just like the feeling after peddling up a large hill.
After writing this, my bike ride seems even more profitable. Now it has not only enriched my physical self but also my emotional and spiritual self. I’m going to have to fix my favorite bike and take some more bike rides. For now though it’s time to rest my muscles. Even God rested after a period of work.