I don’t pretend that any of this is original or particularly deep, but they are things I thought about during our Great Ocean Road Adventure.
It’s Easier In A Group
One of the little known facts about cycling is that wind resistance is one of the most relentless forces to overcome. In a tightly formed group the leader takes the brunt for the whole group- when they weary they fall to the rear and the next person takes over. A group thus travels faster and further than an individual. Migrating birds learned this millennia ago.
If you are travelling in a group you have to keep your eyes on the person in front, trusting they will not brake too suddenly and that they will point to hazards such as potholes.
There is a lot that can be said about shared leadership, mutual trust and unity just in that point.
Just Keep Going
Adina, who once pedalled barefoot from Sydney to Cairns, says “You just keep turning the pedals and eventually you get there.” In any field some people are pioneers, high flyers and super achievers, but most of us get to the destination by persevering and keeping at it. As the adage says, 80% of success is just showing up every day.
Whether you are a fast rider or slow, giving up won’t get you to your destination.
That applies as much to the faith journey as it does to cycling. If you want more of God, just keep pushing in; if you have a dream, keep praying and trusting God.
Much of what we do is determined by our thinking not by our ability. Elite athletes talk about being in the zone by which they mean their mind is entirely focussed on winning the game. When I started to think that it was all too hard, my body would slow down and pains would appear in all kinds of places. At one stage on the third day, I had to roar and shout at myself to get my thinking back on track.
Christians sin when they lose the plot about what is important in life. King David fell into sin when he stayed home at the time “when kings go to war.” It’s the idle times or the times when we feel deflated or perhaps too self-important that we can start to focus on our own desires and pleasures, forgetting that we were bought at a price by Christ.
There is a difference between travelling silently at 20 km/hr as opposed to racing along the road in air-conditioned, musically enhanced comfort at 100 km/hr. You notice more, appreciate more. reflect more.
It’s true that many of us live lives that are too fast-paced, too hectic, and with too little space to relate to others and to God in any kind of deep way.
We’ve been conditioned to believe that faster is always better and that the more we can cram into our days the more significant is our life.
We live in a big country, and to get from A to B you need to travel fast. But sometimes, you just need to enjoy the journey and immerse yourself in the creation.
Take time to pray, to read the word, to think.
People Are Important
I loved the adventure. We travelled far and saw many things. I achieved something that was beyond my normal.
But it was little moments that made this week special. Connecting with my family. Re-connecting with an old friend not seen in almost thirty years. Stopping along the way to give and receive help from fellow travellers.
We are made for others. That’s why so much of the Bible talks about relationships. Jesus said there are only two important things: Love God and love other people.
I know it was right to go on this particular bike ride this time. The organisers are planning to do it again next year, but I don’t know that I will go again.
Some people do this ride every year, and it is a big part of their annual routine. There is nothing wrong with that- exercise, friendship and raising money for a good cause.
I’m not assuming that it will be part of my annual routine because we too often grab hold of something that is good and we keep doing it long after God has moved on to something else and we don’t notice.
Some things in church we keep doing because the Lord is in it. Other things we do once or twice, and then move on to something different.
When we think that our spiritual well-being depends on slavishly following a particular practice or an event then we are into religion not the Holy Spirit.
I am sure that over the coming months more and more lessons will emerge from this road trip. I am thankful to the Lord for having the opportunity to participate in an awesome experience.