One morning, few weeks ago, I hopped on my bike for a 15-20 mile ride in the countryside near my home. It was a beautiful day, but before I’d gone even five miles I found myself feeling a bit sluggish, like I just didn’t have the energy with which I’d started out. I glanced down at my tires to see if maybe that was the problem, but they looked OK. So, thinking that perhaps my blood pressure was low (which has happened before), I turned around and headed for home.

Later that morning, after having determined that my blood pressure was fine, I went out to the garage to get something. When I did, I happened to notice that the rear tire on my bike was now totally flat.  No wonder I’d felt sluggish!

Well, naturally I wanted to know what had caused the problem, so I removed the tire and did a careful inspection. It took a couple minutes, but I finally found the culprit—a tiny metal staple that had somehow pushed through the tire and penetrated the tube. The hole in the tube was so small that it had taken a couple hours for all the air to leak out, but the tire was flat nonetheless.

You know, it’s funny, but it seems to me that the same thing often happens in our spiritual lives. We “pedal along” day-by-day, doing what we have to do, barely noticing that anything is wrong. Yet all the while there’s a slow leak in our spirits, until one day it feels like we just don’t have  enough “air” to keep going. We haven’t had a blow-out, but our spirits are flat just the same.

So, let me ask you. Is your spirit doing a slow leak? If so, I encourage you to do two things.

First, do a little self examination to see if you can identify the cause(s) of the leak—excessive busyness, a grudge you’re holding onto, etc. After all, if you aren’t willing to look for the cause, it’s hard to find a cure.

Second, if you’re not already doing this, I encourage you to set aside some time each day to reconnect with God and yourself. My own preference is to do that first thing in the morning, but maybe that’s not possible for you. If not, perhaps another time of day would be better. Or maybe you could listen to inspirational material during your morning commute to work—an audio Bible or other spirit-lifting literature, some wholesome music, etc.

Those are just a couple suggestions, but I hope they’ll help you deal with any spiritual slow leak you may have. Better yet, why not talk it over with the very Source of the air we breathe?

Loving God, thank you for breathing your life in me. Help me to find my strength in you each day, to identify the things that drain my spirit, and to keep “pedaling on” in your Spirit. Amen

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