Slacker that I am, I’ve decided to create my own writing prompt. Something has to get me to post something other than food on Fridays. I’ve been on my bike a lot lately, grabbing all of the steamy hot weather before fall blows in and my fair-weather attitude gets challenged. On these rides, I write a gazillion blog posts in my head, none of which ever get the thrill of the “publish” button. Focus, Candy, focus.
I’ve thought a lot lately about the parallels of biking, faith and life – simple parallels, simple prompts. I’ve collected a lot of thoughts over the past 6 decades, and I may as well spew them. So yes, I’m going to call this Pedaling Advice and this may be the last post or the first of many. There will most likely be rants, Que sera, sera. Oh, and I need a cute button because that pic up there is Just. Plain. Tacky.
First, understand that I’m no bike-savvy chick. I have a cheap bike, one pair of bike shorts (yes, I wash them often) and (GAAA!) a fanny pack for emergency carbs. My brakes squeak and my gears catch. I own no fancy sweat-wicking bike jerseys and usually bike in tank tops that were on sale at Old Navy or Sam’s Club say, about 10 years ago. I wear some formerly fancy schmancy biking sandals that would probably never be found if you Googled “biking fashion” but they serve their purpose. That is, if their purpose is making a mess out of a new pedicure.
All of this makes me a less than-impressive cyclist as I swat at the Japanese beetles that pelt me like buckshot and stop way too often to take photographs with my little point-and-shoot. But it gives me lots of quiet time to think and pray and make decisions and write speeches-never-to-be-given while I’m out on the trails, soaking up the heat, the sun and the stares of passers-by as I chat to myself out loud.
There may be a snippet a week … maybe. Trying to apply the KISS formula here. Let’s go.
Tip #1: Beware of small sticks
Earlier storms knocked some pretty hefty branches down along my favorite trail. Most of my fellow bikers were kind enough to move the larger limbs, and only scattered small sticks remain. They don’t get in my way; I ride right over them without consequence. That is, until yesterday. A small stick, not even 6 inches long was in my path, and as I hit it, it broke, flew up in my spoke, clanked around, and hit my rear gear wheelie thing (told you I’m not bike-savvy) and caused me to clunk, slip, and yes, fall. Praise God nobody saw me, and the bruising is minimal.
The Advice: Even small sticks can make you stumble. They are not nudges from God to take a risk, if in the end it will hurt or destroy you. That “just one” drink. That seemingly innocent across-the-room flirt. Just one quick stop at the casino. Avoiding big pitfalls is easy – stay away from the tree trunk. But it’s the little things along the way that chip away at your resolve, make you oblivious to the dangers, and set you up for the big dive into the woods of hell. And remember that when you fall, you just might drag a few people with you. Collateral damage hurts. You also might want to move a few small sticks out of the path, lest you cause a brother/sister to stumble.
The good news: God’s mercies are new every day. Start over. Take a different route. Don’t fall into the definition of being an idiot by doing the same stupid thing over and over again, expecting different results.
“So then each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.”
Do you have any small sticks?