I ride my bicycle to commune with God; the exercise is icing on the cake. Our conversations are most often about people He has me praying for, conversations I need to have with others, or lessons we are preparing to write or teach. Every once in a while, God uses the ride to show me something about myself and/or His kingdom.

Here’s one from the other day.

Distractions are a big part of cycling – passing cars and approaching dogs in particular. Most are not a threat, but it only takes one. Having to deal with them on a regular basis has taught me to allow distraction when necessary, and then get back to matter at hand. It has become a natural part of the process.

I wish I could say the same about hills.

Hills are different than cars and dogs. They don’t generate the same adrenaline spike as a ferocious dog on the loose or a driver passing on a hill. In fact, they don’t scare me at all. On the other hand, they last longer, the distress builds over time, and the distraction is real and present discomfort and pain.

Hills are a major distraction to my communion with God.

For me, hills are a metaphor for the challenging seasons of our lives. These may be momentary, lengthy, or any amount of time in between. God has used the hills in my life to reveal a few things about myself and my relationship with Him:

  1. The more I focus on the pain, the greater the pain becomes.
  2. When I set my mind on things above, the hill is not only less of a distraction, but easier to navigate.
  3. The approach I take has a dramatically positive effect on my mental and physical response to the effort after cresting the hill.
  4. It occurs to me as I write this that having a riding partner to remind me of these things – and encourage me in them during the climb – would be an incredible blessing.

Setting my mind on things above is the key. Most often that involves praise and thanksgiving, and prayer for others. I am particularly fond of the Doxology, the Lord’s Prayer, and praying the Apostolic Prayers for others.

In case you are wondering, this is all done in my head; gasping for air is about all I can do with my mouth and lungs.

Admittedly, applying this to the challenging seasons of our lives is more difficult. It requires awareness and sensitivity to other elements of our being (e.g., our emotions). On the other hand, it is easier to open your Bible, tune in a praise song on the radio, or call a brother or sister in Christ when you’re not sitting on a bicycle.

Whether you’re slugging it up a hill on a bicycle, or navigating through a challenging season of life, God has a very personal way for you to stay connected with Him. Search out the matter with Him. He loves talking with His children. Set your mind on things above; He will help you keep it there.

God bless you with a more continual communion with Him; and the grace to stay connected through the challenging seasons.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

PS – For more cycling lessons, simply search for “Lessons while” on the inLight Adventure blog site.

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