Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."

In my life, I have logged hundreds of hours in the saddle of a mountain bike, and thousands on a road bike. I have better skill in the latter, but enjoy the challenge of the former.

Spending that much time riding, I have also experienced my share of accidents and road rage. I've been forced off of the road, had things hurled at me from speeding cars, been flipped end over end, and more.

I wasn't looking for a fight in any of these scenarios. The ugliness that often dwells within us seems to come out in momentary frustration. A cyclist is an easy and vulnerable target.

In trail riding, one of the skills you must develop quickly is the ability to maneuver at speed between all of the obstacles. It is not uncommon to be on very narrow trails, called "singletrack."

These intend to challenge the rider. He must watch for sharp tree stumps in the path while negotiating the limbs and low branches that seek to dislodge the pilot from his cockpit. These things are accomplished (or not) while also dealing with elevation changes. Some are so significant, that many riders must get off and walk.

It is not uncommon to exit the woods with scratches, cuts or bruises, on your body. Riding singletrack is intended to challenge as well as keep the path so narrow as to prevent riders from cruising two abreast. In races, this increases the challenge to get ahead. One must be ready to accelerate at the smallest of windows of opportunity.

Each of us experience times in our lives where it would seem that we are walking a "singletrack" path. We seek to be heading in the right direction, while the world claws at us, and fights to dislodge us from our intended direction or goal.

The brambles and briars that often line the trail edges leave their mark on us. The enemy seeks to bring discouragement and frustration into our lives by leading us to believe that we are alone, headed in a ridiculous direction, and on a course that will not be of true benefit.

Sometimes the beating we take is significant enough that we find ourselves beginning to listen.

I love the woods. I am significantly alive when I am in them and do not know where they lead. I cannot wait to see what is ahead. I love to drink in the beauty that I am surrounded by.

To be honest, if I am on a bike in the woods, I am going too fast to notice these things. When I get off the bike or leave it at home, I can enjoy the beauty.

There is potential beauty in our path that the enemy would use for harm. It is possible to traverse our lane in such a way that we can avoid the pitfalls or dangers and still enjoy His creation.

Sometimes we must slow down, others we need to accelerate through. The key is to take the tools He has provided, and to use them wisely. Gods Word combined with the direction of His Holy Spirit are with us as long as we engage them. When we try to 'go it alone,' we are more likely to get whacked.

Open eyes and an obedient heart will not assure that we take no hits, but will help assure that we respond appropriately when we are blindsided. When armed appropriately, we a far less likely to be taken by surprise.

In cycling, there is protective gear available for such trails.

In life, we should always be suited up in our spiritual armor.



At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im sorry for your loss i hope you all will recover soon if not yet...


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