Lessons from the Road #1

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‘I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.’
– Psalm 121: 1-2

IMG_9479Almost every morning I train for the Tour, I ride toward the east and the rising sun. That means rollers, hills and the foothills and the direction we will go for the second leg of our Hikoi (Maori for a pilgrimage with a reason). When my legs feel strong, I look to the mountains with anticipation.

This morning Psalm 121 came to mind as I started pedaling before the sun appeared over the mountains. The cold blue light was broken by the warm rising sun and color and dimension filled in the landscape. The cool air warmed slightly as the sun painted the vault of the sky.

The first lesson of the road and training is that the only person I need to compare myself with is me; me yesterday, me a week ago, me a month ago. Growth is measured in miles, hours and heart rate.

All too often I don’t think we approach our faith journeys in the same way. How often do we test our faith by putting it in to action today and then trying to do more the next day? How often do we look back at how we are growing in our faith, comparing ourselves to our walk last month, last year? Only by testing ourselves, testing our faith, growing in our faith can we do more.

Do we need to carry more water on our journey or can we learn to live and thrive with less? What is that life-giving and maintaining water in our faith walk? Do we only ride the flats or do we challenge ourselves with climbing in our faith? When was the last time we had a real conversation with someone that forced us to grow in our own faith? When did we challenge our faith in a way that produced growth and maturity? Have we reached behind ourselves and encouraged someone else in their journey? Have we blocked the strength of the wind so that they might grow stronger in their faith? Have we walked alongside someone in their time of need? When have we been selfless in our journey so that others might thrive?

The road tests me, the road and my bike force me to grow and mature. Now the trick is to translate that in to my faith journey.