Our Physical Life
Let me set the conditions for you and you tell me what you need for the ride. We are going on a rolling, 63 mile ride. The temperature is going be 80 at the start and near 90 at the finish. This is an unsupported ride except for a convenient store stop (where you can refill the bottles and buy food if you have to) around the 30 mile mark.
Alright, so based on those conditions what would you take with you? How many bottles, and of what? How many gels or bananas or fig-newtons (like a friend of mine carries) would you bring?
What I’ve been taught during my short (nearly 2 years) time as a recreational cyclist, is that I need to eat a gel-pack (usually GU) about every 30 minutes and drink a bottle (I put HEED in mine) every hour. That should replenish the electrolytes and salt and everything else I burn during a ride like this. Your needs or philosophy on how much to eat and drink may vary, but the fact that you have to replenish the energy you expend, doesn’t. When you ride, you burn energy. If you don’t replace the energy, you’ll bonk (hit-the-wall, crash, etc..)
What would happen if you drank one bottle of Gatorade and then did this ride without drinking or eating anything else?
Exactly, you’d cramp, or worse, have some kind of heat stroke or sickness.
Our Spiritual Life
Our spiritual life is the same way. Romans 15:4 says:
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Psalms 112:7-8 says, in regards to those who finds delight in God’s Word:
7 He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.
We have to refuel
As we go through life, it will be hard at times, rolling. We will expend energy every day. Maybe it will be dealing with a difficult co-worker or an abusive spouse or parent. Maybe times are tough financially and you spend a lot of time worrying and fretting over the future and your family. Whatever the circumstances are, energy is spent, and has to be replenished or it will drain you dry.
The way we, as Christians, avoid spiritual cramps or heat strokes is by replenishing our energy supply, and that is done through spending time with God. As we pray and read His word, our perspectives are realigned, our spirits are lifted and our minds are renewed. We refuel. We reenergize.
If we don’t refuel, we will eventually run out of gas and crash.
The ride described above, I’ve made numerous times. Probably, most of you have done similar rides and some of you have done rides much, much longer and hillier. When you leave on a long ride, you have to prepare, you have to be able to replace the energy that is spent. Remember, that as you go through everyday life, be sure to replenish your spirit –your soul– as well. It will make the journey a whole lot more enjoyable, and at the end, you won’t be worn out.
Jesus said that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Let Him reenergize you, and you will be able to ride for a long, long, long time.