When do you find that God teaches you most? I believe that if you’re like most folks it’s not when you’d expect; when you’re in a Bible study or listening to a sermon or podcast. God tends to use the common, ordinary, daily experiences to teach us about His nature, His kingdom, and our lives.
That’s what the last several blog posts have been about; the things God taught me while on my mountain bike on the trail. Over the last several days I’ve talked about picking a line, keeping your eyes out in front, the stones in the trail and the Big Mo.
Today the subject is: The bumps and bruises you pick up along the way.
5. Scars and scuffs may hurt in the moment but they are celebrated badges of honor after the ride. The whole first two years of having our bikes we didn’t get a scratch…on the bikes or on our bodies. We only rode the smooth, paved, mostly flat “rail trails” in New York. But since leaving on this journey we’ve ridden single track trails in Crested Butte, Lake City, Moab and now the redwoods above Santa Cruz.
When the trail is steeper and rougher and the challenges are greater there will be some scratches, dings and scuffs along the way; not only on your bike but on your body as well! The first few times I heard the pedal, frame or sprocket of the bike scrape on a rock I cringed. But afterward when I surveyed the damage, I thought, “that looks kinda cool.”
If bumps are guaranteed (see #3) then there will be bruises. In sports, the cast on the arm or the cut over the eye or the blood on the jersey is a badge of honor. Others look and say, “Wow, he was IN IT!” “She was GOING FOR IT!”
I’m waiting for the day when we, especially in the church, stop viewing life’s bruises and bumps as failures or damaged goods. No…your mistakes and injuries don’t define you. Your scrapes and cuts are badges of honor. You refused to sit on the sidelines and simply watch life pass you by. You got in the game. You mixed it up. Yeah, you got kicked around a little but you’re still standing and you’ll live to fight another day.
By the way, the journey is going great. And it’s especially great when God chooses to teach you things about life through the simple daily experiences.
But you don’t need to be on a journey to know that.
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