There must have been 40-50 people on my last ride, all in one group, just cruising along laughing and having a good time; what cycling was meant to be.
This utopian feeling was five or six miles into a 27 mile, Tuesday-night ride, and the ride so far was relatively flat and on big, open roads. But somewhere around the 8 mile mark the road changed and the the group started to thin out. Some were speeding up. Some were falling behind.
I found my self up front for the first half hour or so, sort of keeping up, sort of just barely hanging on. But I was up there none-the-less. However, I was one of the ones starting to fall back as the road gradually started tilting upward.
After a few minutes or so I noticed my nice, friendly, laughing-all-the-way group ride turned into a solo ride up a long, gradual incline. Just like that, I was fighting this annoying climb by myself, hoping they were waiting for me at the end of road, but not really sure if they were. When I needed company the most, it was just me and the road and the thoughts in my head.
And as usual, those thoughts led to a cycling devotional.
In our life, when we are cruising along laughing all the way, friends seem easy to come by. Relationships are a breeze when we seemingly have everything together. But, when the road inclines and things start to get rough, our circle of friends, our radius, tends to thin out. All of a sudden we look around and there is no one there to turn to — no one to hear us when we call out and say we are tired , or scared, or lonely.
How about our walk as a believer in Jesus Christ? Is that any different? Have you found it easier to engage in small groups or with “Christian” friends when life is easier? Do you have the same, or the same number of, friends nearby when life goes to pot?
When climbing that proverbial hill, do you have family and/or friends beside you helping you get up it? I hope you do. And if you don’t, I hope you take this as a wake-up call to start putting some in place.
You see, I do. I have both family and friends who care about me and who have a strong relationship with The Savior, Jesus Christ. I know, in life, if I get caught fighting an uphill battle that I have any number of people who will come along side me and encourage if need be, correct if need be, or just simply listen if that is what is needed.
If you don’t have those people in your life, seek them out. Start by hitting your knees and asking God to bring them into your life. Pray, if you are married, that a strong, believing couple will come along and provide a great sounding board for your marriage. If single, pray that a God-fearing friend in your church or small group or neighborhood will step up and become a running mate for you as you run this race called life.
Some of the people in my life that have the most influence aren’t there by accident, it is because I strategically sought them out. That may sound weird but it is true. I have a friend that asks me at least once a week how my marriage is and what have I done for my wife this week. That kind of friend is indispensable. As a couple, there are other couples that we can go to when we have questions or concerns about raising our kids or money troubles, or if we just need to talk to someone.
My wife and I are blessed because of the people God has put into our lives but we have also been very intentional in making sure we take advantage of them.
Don’t get caught going uphill alone…