Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Old-Timey Bicycle

Yesterday, my husband and I took our kids for an early evening bike ride. We do this often, so we routinely take the same route. Out of our driveway, we go to the right and straight-away up hill. Once we are all at the top, we turn right again, navigating a winding path across the top, until we hit a descending trail that runs perpendicular to the back of our house. This route is all work at the start. Straight up hill without a warm-up. Yesterday I was struggling toward the top. Me and my bicycle were moving just fast enough to stay upright. As one of my son's pass me, he says, "Mom, I think your problem is that old-timey bicycle!"

I replied, "I think my problem is my old-timey body."

I've been up and down a few hills in my life. And one thing has become increasingly clear to me. I work like crazy to get myself to the top and then when I began to coast downhill, I tap my brakes to slow myself down. Because we have gone on this particular bike trail many times, I have realized that if I don't allow myself to gain momentum on the way down, I cannot make it up the next hill without completely exhausting myself.

In life I do the same. I have no problem with scaling a challenging situation or facing adversity that triggers every possible fatigue. However, when I have overcome and by the grace of God, begin to experience momentum, I start tapping the brakes.

The question rang out in my mind yesterday, "Why did you work so hard to conquer this if you are gonna stop the momentum on the other side?"

Logistically my answer was, "I don't want to fall! Wipeout is bad!! Especially for my old-timey body..."

Whether we are talking about a bike ride or a life style, we have to identify why we hit the brakes when things start getting better. Ideas arise, that maybe we don't deserve to move so quickly, or if we have struggled so long, things shouldn't be this easy. It all comes down to fear. I don't want to lose control and fall off my bike nor do I want to move through life so quickly that I wipeout without warning. I want to be cautious with my calling but also fearless in my faith!

How do I do both?

Mark 13:37 says,
"And what I say to you, I say to everybody: Watch (give strict attention, be cautious, active, and alert)!"

This Scripture reveals to me that we must not stop ourselves from moving forward but we need to watch where we are going. Just the term "watch" gives direction for us to remain focused without distraction, that is the kind of caution we should embrace. At the same time, be active and move forward without seizing up.

To be successful on our uphill journey we must be persistent, once we gain momentum our goal is to stay focused on our destination. Speed is not our enemy, distraction is. My old-timey bicycle with it's big ol' handlebars, goes where my eyes go. If I turn to look to the right or the left, my course swerves to match my focus.

"Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil." Proverbs 4:27

"He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and followed the ways of this father, David, not turning aside to the right or the left." 2 Chronicles 34:2

Moving with the power of momentum can be a bit scary. When it seems like things are just moving too fast, we stiffen in fear. Just a few years ago when we launched the vision for When Women Worship, I found myself guilty of this very thing. I had worked really hard to bring the vision to fruition, God had aligned me with powerful and gifted individuals that had the ability to raise the game significantly. But I froze up. The speed scared me and I stopped making the right decisions to continue releasing the momentum. I was too afraid of making the wrong decisions, so I didn't make any. Hitting the brakes in this way taught me a valuable lesson. All the way up the hill I had known that God was in control but when things began to move quickly, I didn't fully trust He still was. What I have learned from this is that He sets me on a straight and narrow path. The only risk in experiencing momentum is if I lose my focus. When I hit the brakes after When Women Worship, it made getting up the next hill all the harder for me. I am challenged to let the Lord guide me up and (especially) down, every hill from now on.

I'm ready to catch some air...even if it's on my old-timey bicycle.

1 comment:

  1. girl everything u are writing right now...speaks so much to me!!!!! I thank God for women like you that speak out & share!!!!!! keep rockin sista!