Discovering what love is one day at a time
We recently went on a mountain bike adventure on the Maah Daah Hey Trail in the Badlands…if you know me at all, you know that …well, my gifts do not lie in my ability to coordinate physical activity in a beautiful, graceful, or uninjured manner. Biking is wonderful to do with your family and is usually good in the warm sun on a paved trail…right?
Well, it was warm…and I was with my family…the trail mostly single lane and sometimes rocky, sometimes beach sandy, sometimes flat…most of the time uneven and rutted…and had roots and Oh, did I mention, that you really could not always see what was coming? Like the fact that most of the trail was on the side of really high hills; that if you tried to put your foot down on the outside of the trail it wouldn’t touch anything?
I had a fun time…we had to cross a silty river, take off our shoes and carry our bikes across. I carried my shoes and a bunch of other’s shoes and my husband carried my bike… (So glad that he did) because even without my bike I was stumbling across, hoping I didn’t trip and drop everybody’s shoes in the water.
When riding on the trail…..the lane would be flat one minute and then a crazy uneven rut that was hard to stay straight in. Sometimes I would get going and feel confident that…yes, I can do this and…..the next second it would change to a crazy-downhill-winding-rutted-sandy death cliff. I had to ride my brakes so that I didn’t go flying off the side, which was always a possibility. I found myself praying: Oh, please God do not let me fall off the trail. I was talking myself through and encouraging myself to be brave while reminding myself that it was ok to go at my own pace…ride the brakes…breathe…and enjoy every moment… even if I walked my bike when the path seemed too narrow or steep….I had to just keep going forward.
To my surprise... I had a blast and I want to do it again, but I do need to practice around here before I try to do that trail again. Sheesh, oh, and I did not die, nor fall off the side of the trail. However, I did bruise my leg in the parking lot of the campground later that day with the pedal.
The whole experience just made me think about life in general, when the path got steep, deeply rutted and I was going fast, it was easy to get distracted about what was coming next and also focus on how close to falling I really was. My bike had been shaking and I was bumping my pedals into the side of the path, instead of riding the brakes and staying in control. God’s Word says…My peace I leave you, My peace I give to you, I do not give as the world gives, do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. Sometimes our paths are filled with ruts that shake our world, but God. Without him and the ability to stand in the Grace that He has supplied, we would just get buried by our own disappointment and shame of the choices and decisions we have made. We also would be so overwhelmed by our inability to handle everything that life hands us.
God is never disappointed in us or our mistakes…He chose us… He delights in us… He rejoices over us with singing. Sometimes we get too confident in our own ability that we may have a tendency to just speed through our lives, not braking or stopping to refocus and allow God to lead us and guide us down our path. That is when we can get into a lot of trouble pretty quickly, and before you know it you can be sliding down the hillside without your bike.
I know that God is not disappointed in me or the mistakes that I have made. He knows my heart and my thoughts before I even think them. He is not shocked or even surprised. His Word does explain that His soul takes no pleasure in the one that draws back: speaking of those who from timidity hesitate to declare without shame what they believe. He has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, of love, and of a sound mind. Our confidence to face whatever each day may bring is in Christ Jesus. Our identity does not come from what abilities we have, but in His. He is the Rock on which we stand, the Name that allows us to remain: and by His power and might and the strength of His Spirit we can abide and continue to persevere through whatever each days holds.
Sometimes you just have to be brave, go forward even when you feel scared. Enjoy every moment, time and life are precious. Breathe, hang on tight, pray continuously, encourage yourself, live, live well, love, work hard, play hard, and laugh at yourself.
I have been married to my wonderful husband for 24 years. We have two young men ages 20 and 15.. This blog is somewhat of a journal and attempt for me to keep a purposeful perspective on life as a whole.