In a bible study I was going through recently, one of the tasks for the day was to set aside time to reflect back on what God has been saying to me and how He reveals Himself to me. I've always felt like God speaks to me clearly when I'm training, so I decided to take a long solo ride on my bike through the hills outside of town. Just me, God, my bike.
My route took me through town to the start of a old railroad that had been paved as a multi use trail. From there it followed the old tracks out to the country, around in the rolling hills and back the way I came. The whole way out the tracks and into the hills I was feeling great. In fact, I was feeling better than great. It was still early in the season and I hadn't been riding very much, so I was feeling unusually strong.
And then it happened. About and hour into the ride I made the first turn to start heading home and felt an uneasy crosswind. "No. Surely not." I thought. "Have I been riding with a tailwind this whole time?" Within minutes I was riding my bike into a serious headwind; the kind of wind that almost brings you to a stop—even on the downhills. "This is awful!" I thought.
The next 10 miles of the trail home I spent absolutely frustrated. I felt like I was pedaling twice as hard to move half as fast. I wasn't even sure I still wanted to be on the bike; and because I was so frustrated, I wasn't even using the time to focus on God's presence anymore.
Finally at the end of the trail in downtown—only a few miles from home—God revealed that He had been speaking the whole time in a way that I don't think I'll ever forget: through a gentle wind at my back. It was as if everything He said came at once and it took me the rest of the ride home to keep pulling back the layers.
"Every single time you get on that bike, you'll be faced with two kinds of wind: the joy of a tailwind, or the battle of a headwind." The same rings true with my spiritual walk. Every day I wake up, God is going to be there and I get the opportunity to experience Him. The most crucial thing for me to remember is that my joy in experiencing God exists not just in a time of blessing, but in a headwind as well. The presence of struggle or suffering is not an absence of God, it's a time to reflect on the fact that He's even more present! At the end of the day, I know that If I want to be a better rider I have to seek joy in the fact that working harder will make me stronger the next time.
Sometimes the wind may be a gentle breeze or a gale force. Sometimes it will be the blessing to keep pushing me forward, the headwind to stop me in my tracks. Only one constant remains: the wind is going to be there and I will experience it. How I respond to it is up to me. Will I praise Him in the times of incredible blessing when it's easy to forget or take it for granted? Will I praise Him even when I have to suffer? Will I have the motivation to get up everyday and get out there just to experience him no matter what that means?
What are the current tailwinds or blessings that you're might be overlooking right now?
What is the headwind that you're facing right now where God is trying to strengthen you?
What motivates you to experience Him everyday?
Fri, May 6, 2011
by FCA Endurance