Resurrected from the crevices of the garage, my husband breathed life back into my bike with a hefty dusting and an air pump. Suffering from a knee injury, I needed another method to continue my training for an upcoming event. And so, my old, decrepit bike seemed like the best candidate for a non-weight bearing exercise.
As I took off on my first ride, I heard uncomfortable sounds eeking from my brakes. Worse yet, nothingness emerged from my gear shifters. The bike was stuck in one gear. But, with limited options I would have to make the best of it. At least I was moving. It proved to be an interesting ride with periods of extreme pedaling followed by coasting as I traversed up and down hills… still in the same gear.
Two days later, much to my surprise and delight, my husband brought home a new-to-me bike he’d found on Craig’s List – in a completely functioning state. Gears shifted smoothly. Brakes gripped without ear piercing screams. A soft cushy seat supported my frame. Shocks absorbed. Tires spun. I shifted to higher gears to ease the climb of the hills while down shifting to maximize my effort and speed going downhill. It was a coordinated effort much different than my previous rides.
I felt power and victory. OK, maybe I’m being a little dramatic. But, it really was a much improved workout and ride. And, as I rode early that morning, I made mental notes of the differences and couldn’t help but see the connections to life.
I survived my rides on the old bike with broken gears. But I felt broken, and as if I was wasting unnecessary energy. I literally felt like I was spinning my wheels sometimes – or in my case, just the pedals because I couldn’t switch to a lower a gear. I certainly wasn’t being efficient. The climbs were harder and I lost traction on the downhill portion. That’s how I feel when I try to do life alone… without God’s help. I pedal, pedal, pedal yet exhaust myself going through the motions. I make things harder for myself. I struggle with the climb and fail to experience His best when I’m cruising downhill.
However, when I invite God’s direction and wisdom in my life, the Holy Spirit steps in and acts as the gears. He propels me forward. He increases my efficiency and productivity. He enhances and multiplies the outcome of my work and eases the difficult times. It can still be a strenuous workout at times, but there’s sweet satisfaction.
When we live life in single gear – with ourselves in control – we miss out on God’s power. The ride is so much more enjoyable when He’s energizing our journey. Don’t settle for one gear. Tap into Him and you may just find the ride of a lifetime. As you do, I hope you enjoy the wind in your hair and the view along the way!
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being. Ephesians 3:16