Friday, June 5, 2015

Devotional 6-5-15

Ever Learning

I remember learning to ride a bike. First training wheels on – then off. I shared a snippet about that on FaceBook a while back > complete with a picture of that very bike. I still have the bike and seeing it in the garage makes me smile. I rode a bike all through my elementary years and well into high school - mainly around the neighborhoods where we lived.  In 2010 an opportunity presented itself for me to ride my bike as part of a fund raiser. 100 miles one day and 50 miles the next. Well, I had ridden a bicycle practically all my life, how hard could it be – really? Did I mention that the first leg of the trip was ONE HUNDRED miles? I trained for a couple of weeks racking up far too few miles to be considered ‘training.’ I took off on that fateful June day and nearly d-i-e-d! It was awful. I was out of shape and parts of me hurt that I didn’t really know could hurt. The only thing on my mind as I neared the end was SELL THE BIKE!! When the same event rolled around the next year I said, ”Oh, no. NOT me.” The ride date drew closer and the thought crossed my mind that if I trained and practiced more than the year before perhaps the ride would be easier and more enjoyable. That’s what I did, and yes, it was. On the second day of that ride years later I had spent many miles riding and talking with a new friend. We approached a particularly steep climb near the end of our journey. As I prepared myself to gear down and grind it out, it became apparent that he was going to have to dismount from his bike and walk. I did likewise. (I had walked up hills on this ride before). We had come this many miles together, why ride on up the hill without him? As a result of our ‘walk’ I got to see and hear the most wonderful little waterfall hidden behind the brush beyond the guardrail. Had I ridden on ahead – alone – I would have missed it.

I have attended Sunday school and church for as long as I can remember. To say that the Bible on my shelf dated 1971 was my first Bible would probably not be entirely accurate, neither would saying that the 08/27/1972 date on a certificate of baptism was my first acceptance of Christ in my life.  I sometimes find myself in a situation where I need to refute a statement made – I believe – in error. “It says so in the Bible.”  I remind myself that I have gone to church all my life. How hard can this be – really? Well, then comes the humble realization that I have not trained or practiced my theology and/or my Christianity nearly enough to engage in such an exercise.   It’s time to dismount and walk. I am ever grateful for those strong Christians and leaders in my life who could have blown right by me…but didn’t. They saw my struggle, got off their bikes and walked. They taught me where to look, what to ask and to know that I’m allowed to believe what I believe and not what I’m supposed to believe because someone tells me “It’s in the Bible.”

I’ve ridden some 10,000 miles since that “awful” June 2010 day. I hope to tell you in a later devotional that I’ve read and studied some 10,000 Bible verses.

The joy is in the journey.

Steve Matthews

No comments: