There have been 4 significant times in my life when I’ve really enjoyed biking… And this is one of them.
I recently picked up a new bike which has been a lot of fun. Normally, I’m a tennis player, but my passion for biking has surged again.
The first time was when I was 12. I actually learned how to ride a bike pretty late… (painful memory). So when I got my own Schwinn Stingray—yep, with the banana seat—I was stoked! Suddenly, my world got so much bigger. The Stingray also provided me a hard but valuable life lesson, when I parked it on my brother’s porch when I spent the night. The fact that someone would go up on someone porch and take a bike that didn’t belong to them… I’ll never forgot the heartbreak.
Later my college years, I was living on the north shore of Long Island and I got a bike for commuting and exploring. Just about every Sunday, I’d get on my bike and ride out until I was completely exhausted… then I’d turn around have to ride back. I wish I still had that stamina.
Later-later, in my deeper 20s, I picked up an Iron Horse mountain bike (before they went department store, they used to be great bikes) and I’d do some urban raging and pack up for some single track and mountain biking. I kept that blue steel Iron Horse all the way up to recently even here in Texas, when I again learned a valuable lesson… Someone came into our garage at night at stole it and our pump. I was getting ready to out with my boys who had just learned enough to be confident enough to take out of the neighborhood, when I went to get the pump and couldn’t find it. After looking for a while, I realized: “Wow. And my bike is gone too.” I’ll always miss that bike.
Sometime later I bought a comfort/Commuter off Craigslist which was okay. It actually was a pretty nice bike but it sat up really high and had a big fluffy seat. It was fine for neighborhood rides, but I started to get that itch to really rid e again. As I put more miles on it and even tried to take on some “urban rages” I found that it just wasn’t the bike for me. I traded it in for a new bike that I’m very happy with!
It’s a two-wheeled urban/mountain assault vehicle. This thing can go over and through just about anything. And since I got it, just about every day I think about going out for ride. Even at night (I have lights!).
I was hitting the Brushy Creek trails recently, which are double-wide and gravel paved. From my house, I can do a 15-20 loop and it’s pretty nice going along the river and woods. Over the time I’m been riding the Brusky, I noticed some paths that lead off into the woods, but up until now, I didn’t have the bike to be able to take that stuff on. Now I do…
My first trip through some of the more technical pathways was fun. A few times you get pretty close to some hard drop offs and weave through some hairpins and tight treelines. It was really fun to finally be able to explore some new territory and rediscover my enjoyment for off-road cycling. Then I got to a part of the trail where there were some pretty steep drops and rises.
I got stuck on the first one and as I looked over the rest of that part of the course, I realized that I wasn’t quite ready for that. But, I’ll certainly be back and try it again. But as I stood over the steepest drop (where I finally realized that it would best if I walked it this time), I had time to think about discipleship; which is the the process of growing more mature in our faith.
Christian discipleship is the process by which disciples grow in the Lord Jesus Christ and are equipped by the Holy Spirit, who resides in our hearts, to overcome the pressures and trials of this present life and become more and more Christlike. This process requires believers to respond to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to examine their thoughts, words and actions and compare them with the Word of God. From:http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-discipleship.html#ixzz3QizQ05EJ
Like biking, I’ve had seasons where I especially felt like I was enjoying the process of growing my faith. And it’s sort of been like “at many time and many ways” I’ve had great small group experience or have been especially challenged by a resource.
Then there are seasons where it feels like I don’t have the right tool that I feel like I’m not growing or being challenged.
And that’s the point that came to me about discipleship; it’s not best for us to choose our own path. More often, we’ll stick to the roads that we’re comfortable and familiar with. It’s not often that we’ll challenge ourselves to grow in a new area. And, when we see part of the path that we’re feel like we’re not ready for, we’ll choose not to take it. I’d suggest that you would trust your pastor and ask a more mature believer to be honest with you about how they could see you growing this year. Everyone needs more accountability in reading the Bible and praying for often… but what about all the relational discipleship that needs to happen. You know, those parts of scripture that we don’t often take to time to explore: where it calls you to put off this and put on something new.
What if there is a greater more thrilling path ahead of you that’s just waiting to be discovered?