I lashed out and bought a new bike on Monday.
For the last couple of years I’ve been riding a mountain bike. It’s a fine bike and will definitely get you places. We’ve spent many hours together, and even shared one nasty spill.
No matter how I practised, though, there was a limit to the speed I could consistently ride at on the open road. No matter the conditions or my fitness level, it seemed that over a longer distance about 20 km/hr was the limit, and more often my average was 18-19 km/hr.
Maybe I could have refined my technique or strengthened my leg muscles. But there was no escaping the fact that my bike was not designed for speed on the open roads. It was designed for strength and traction on dirt tracks.
So I bought a road bike.This bike is light- under 10 kg. It has ridiculously thin wheels and tyres with no tread to reduce the friction with the road. The tyres are inflated to 120 psi, again to reduce friction. It has dropped handlebars to allow you to lean into the wind and minimise air resistance. The gears are optimised for normal road conditions. Everything is engineered for the purpose of efficient riding over long distances.
Just riding this bike in a gentle way, just getting used to it, I achieved speeds close to 30 km/hr and an average of 25 km/hr over a distance of 21 km. I know I can go faster and farther on this bike. Riding in a three day, 300 km charity ride suddenly seems realistic.
My new bike does better on the road because it was designed for that purpose. It wouldn’t last 5 minutes if I took it into the bush, because that’s not what it was designed for.
You and I were designed for relationship with God. We work best in that environment. Talking to God, listening to God, reading His Word, finding His purpose for our life- that’s how humans work best.
The trouble is that we all want to do it our own way without reference to God. We want to ride our road bikes through the bush and wonder why the tyres are shredded and the frame is bent.
Take a look at the world- race riots in the U.S., ISIS running amok through Iraq and Syria, Boko Haram in Nigeria, crime and destruction, relationships breaking down, lawless children, drugs, hurting people, grieving people… the harvest of suffering just goes on and on because people refuse to live their lives in relationship with the Creator.
Christmas is coming, the awesome celebration of a God who came into the world to redeem a lost people. If you don’t know Him, go and find Him.
Life is so much better.