Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 1Corinthians 16:13

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving… Colossians 4:2

As I’ve written in the past, God has blessed me with cycling. It is a threefold blessing. The most obvious blessing is the exercise. Cycling is one of the better choices for maintaining a healthy life. Like swimming, it puts very little stress on your joints and is great for your cardiovascular system. Consequently, cycling is something most can do well into their latter years.

Another blessing of cycling: I really enjoy it. You can cover more ground and see more stuff on a bicycle than you can running or swimming. There is a unique feeling of freedom when you are on a bike. If you are going to sweat, then why not enjoy doing it.

The greatest blessing I get from cycling is the communion I have with God. He is my regular cycling partner. He hears my prayer requests, gives me advice, and occasionally corrects me on our rides. I can’t tell you how many ideas He has given me while cycling. Every once in awhile, He teaches me a spiritual (cycling) lesson. Here’s one I think will edify and encourage you.

I have recently noticed that when I am pushing through a challenging section of a ride, my concentration shifts from the conversation to the obstacle. Halfway up the hill, I suddenly realize that I dropped my prayer, or let go of the scripture God was speaking to me about. Not a big deal – I normally remember where we were – but there is a lesson or two in it.

Maintaining form, cadence and breathing tempo must be second nature if I am going to make it to the top of the hill. There is simply no time or energy for these things when my mind is focused on getting my body to do something it doesn’t want to do. Form, cadence and breathing are cycling disciplines that the wise cyclist will work to refine when the going is not so tough.

Similarly, it occurs to me that we cannot wait until life gets hard to begin practicing the necessary spiritual disciplines (e.g., prayer, Bible study, beholding the glory of the Lord). These must become our very nature if we hope to thrive on the hills of life. I hope you are practicing now; for difficult days are coming soon.

The second lesson I learned relates to my communion with God during the challenging portions of my ride. As I mentioned, conversations are easily lost; as are my prayer requests for others. This may not be the case for you, but I am easily distracted.

Conversely, the hills are easier to tackle when I am praising or thanking God. Somehow I am able to focus on these mental activities; and they take my mind off the pain in my legs and lungs. Perhaps this applies as well to our times of spiritual trial and tribulation. What do you think?

 

God bless you with the strength and courage to face your trials and tribulations with practice discipline and proper focus. He will be with you; and you will be blessed.

 

Humbly yours and His forever,