So riding a road bike, as a cyclist, can be a remarkable experience. The freedom, combined with the fact that the exercise itself is really good for you, can be exhilarating. When I first started riding with the pastors from church it was horrible! First of all, you have to wear these tight little pants which make you feel really goofy. You need to pump up the tires, put on the helmet and special shoes. Oh yeah, don’t forget the goopy, slick’em stuff that you have to apply before every ride to keep from chaffing. Then you climb on top of the world’s smallest seat and try to remember that your shoes are literally attached to the pedals. That part is HUGE! The consequences of forgetting this will land you on the pavement in an awkward mess, or you can even break your leg like my pastor’s wife did on her first outing.
However, despite all of the steps of preparation over time, I have begun to love riding. This morning I got my gear and loaded up the Jeep and went to my favorite riding spot. It was hot and humid, a typical day this time of year on the Gulf Coast. I turned on my Garmin “activity monitor.” It tracks miles, speed, etc., and away I went. It’s really frustrating when I forget to press start on the Garmin or pause it if I have to stop for some reason. It’s almost like the workout never happened. I don’t get to see the cool charts and graphs on the computer afterwards, tracking all of my hard work. I didn’t forget today.
I had a great ride and was coming to the end when I saw a young man fishing in a pond. I passed by and began to sense that God was wanting me to speak with him. I had already passed by as I began to rationalize away the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit. I slowed down realizing that I had a holy obligation as a Christian to respond. I had a choice.
I turned around slowly and begin to ride back. Mixed thoughts were swirling through my mind. “Look at what I’m wearing, he’s going to think I’m a weirdo or a stalker, it’s going to be awkward,” I told God. It just didn’t matter at this point. So I said a silent prayer for Him to give me the words and I parked and got off my bike. As I approached, I yelled out, “Catch anything?” He responded, “Just a little crappie.” We talked a bit about fishing. Still not knowing God’s reasoning for all of this, I just blurted out, “You don’t by chance go to Grace Church do you?” He told me that he attended Mission Baptist and that his name was Curtis. He was twenty and out of a job. I told him that it might be strange, but I felt like God wanted me to pray for him. He agreed, and I prayed for a new job and that he would begin to hear God’s voice in his life. He thanked me and we shook hands and walked off feeling like I had accomplished what God had wanted.
I jumped back onto my “carbon fiber steed” and headed back to the Jeep. As I was riding I looked down at my Garmin and realized I hadn’t hit the pause button! As I began to think about that big flat spot on my mileage/intensity chart, God began to show me how often it is when our activity decreases, He will increase. At that point I was excited to get home and download my data. Sure enough there it was, a lull, that pause, in the middle of “my activity.” I began to laugh as I saw the dynamics of today’s chart. Of course, it’s just like God to take something I absolutely hated and teach me a lesson about love for others and selflessness. We all want to be used by God and it’s only when we decrease that he can increase. Remember as Christians: “People are not an interruption to our business, THEY ARE our business!”