Bike gadgets are great, aren’t they? When I was a kid, my bike gadgets consisted of only two things: 1) a light (either battery powered or the kind with a small generator that rubbed against your tire), and 2) a playing card clothes-pinned to the fork that made a cool motor sound as it slapped against your spokes. And the fact that our playing cards back then were Bicycle® brand just made it all the better.
But now you can get a bike computer that not only measures speed and distance, it’ll map your route, tell you how much rise and fall (even the degree of incline), monitor your tire pressure, track your cadence and heart rate and a thousand other things, too!
There’s a place for bike gadgets, but we can also become overly obsessed with them to the point where it’s no longer about just enjoying the ride. Instead, we want to control the ride. And, again, that’s not always a bad thing, but when that kind of obsession carries over into our spiritual life it can rob us of the vitality and joy—the fullness of life—that God has for us.
Remember what Jesus says in John 10:10? “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Years ago, I was introduced to a short writing that, for me, beautifully describes the richness that can come from yielding control of our lives to the One who made us. The author is unknown, and you can find the writing under many different titles, but I like to call it “Just Pedal.” I hope you enjoy it.
When I first met Christ, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride; but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal.
I don’t know just when it was that he suggested we change places, but life has not been the same since. When I had control, I knew the way, it was rather boring, but predictable. It was the shortest distance between two points.
But when He took the lead, he knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places, at breakneck speeds. It was all I could do to hang on! And even though it looked like madness, he said, “Pedal.”
I worried and was anxious and asked, “Where are you taking me?”
He laughed and didn’t answer, and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure. And when I’d say, “I’m scared,” he’d lean back and touch my hand.
He took me to people with gifts that I needed—gifts of healing, acceptance, and joy.
He said, “Give the gifts away; they’re extra baggage, too much weight.”
So I did. I gave them to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received.
And still our burden was light.
I didn’t trust Him at first, in control of my life. I thought He’d wreck it; but He knows bike secrets! He knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, how to jump to clear high rocks, how to fly to shorten scary passages.
And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places. I’m beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.
And when I’m sure I just can’t do anymore, he just smiles and says…
Dave Marty is a retired pastor who lives with his wife, Mary, in Brownsburg, Indiana. They have two beautiful daughters, two great sons-in-law, and two creative teenage grandchildren. In addition to cycling (including unicycling), Dave also enjoys gardening, Scrabble, hosting Holy Land tours with Mary, and tutoring kindergarteners at a nearby school