As I climbed the next to last hill on my 30 mile ride today I saw a timeless scene that would make anyone smile; a little girl on a shiny bike with tassels, and training wheels, followed slowly uphill by her father on a bike himself. Learning to ride a bike...what a great day!
The young lady's smile told the story. She was joyful, proud and excited. As I rode by I either read her mind, or projected what her bedazzled face was saying, "Wow, look at that guy go!" I was moving rather quickly, attired in bright red, white and black cycling clothing. I spontaneously shouted some words of encouragement, "Way to go! Well done! Hey, that's how I got started!"
I pondered the last statement the rest of the way home. I was completing a loop of thirty miles. She had ridden maybe 30 feet, but she was riding. If she rides a lot, she will increase her stamina, strength and skill; with practice, she will become a more capable bike rider.
The young cyclist could become negative or cynical about riding if she took her comparison with me too far, such as, "He sure can ride a lot better, faster and further than me. I'm not as capable, good or worthy..." Or, she could take inspiration and begin to envision the possibility of riding real fast and real far herself.
Then my thoughts turned to a young man who has been chiding himself for being relatively spiritually immature. "I should be a lot further along. I've wasted time and opportunities, but I want to begin today to follow Christ in every part of my life." Hurray! He's in the game, and it isn't too late. Today is the first day of the rest of his life, and as long as he stays in the saddle and as long as he peddles, he'll become stronger and more able. That's going to make a huge difference for those who love him.
Where are you in the game? Well along or just getting started? Perhaps you've fallen in some way, like falling off a bike. Are you ready to get back up and get on?
Undoubtedly, the young lady I saw today will have tumbles and spills en route to becoming a proficient cyclist. But one thing is sure...if she keeps pedaling, she will undoubtedly become stronger and go further day by day. Perhaps she'll even ride in the Tour De France?
Reflections about a Dying? Pastor
3 years ago