|I used to think of God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there, sort of like a president. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I didn’t really know Him.
But later on, when I met Jesus, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Jesus was in the back helping me pedal. I didn’t know just when it was He suggested we change, but life has not been the same since I took the back-seat to Jesus, my Lord. He makes life exciting. When I had control, I thought I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable. It was the shortest distance between two points.
But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places and at break-through speeds; it was all I could do to hang on! Even though it often looked like madness, He said, “Pedal!” I was worried and anxious and asked, “Where are you taking me?” He laughed and didn’t answer and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into adventure. And when I’d say, “I’m scared”, He’d lean back and touch my hand.
He took me to people with gifts that I needed, gifts of healing, acceptance and joy. They gave me their gifts to take on my journey, our journey, my Lord’s and mine. And we were off again. He said, “Give the gifts away; they’re extra baggage, too much weight.” So I did, to the people we met, and I found in giving I received, and still our burden was light.
I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life. I thought He’d wreck it, but He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, jump to clear high rocks, fly to shorten scary passages. And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I’m beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus.
And when I’m sure I just can’t do any more, He just smiles and says… “Pedal.”
This book is a discarded treasure I picked up recently in the local Salvation Army Thrift Store. It caught my attention because the author, Pastor Dennis Whitmore, used to do a Christian radio spot with my husband, and I met his wife during my short stint as a substitute librarian for Washington County.
In the Bible, the Christian life is described variously described as a race, a journey, or a walk. All of that implies direction. To arrive somewhere, you have to travel in the right direction. Pastor Whitmore has been traveling on his bike since childhood. It’s given him time to muse about his beliefs and what it means to journey toward Christ. In his brief essays he talks about the interesting people he meets (including John Glenn), little-know historical facts (the name Wheeling, as in W. Va. comes from an Indian word for ‘head’ and in the eighteenth century, Indians killed a man and put his head on a stake on the bank of the Ohio river as a warning — stay our of here!), and theology (after all, he is a Pastor). Here are some of the things he has to stay about directions:
“Every path we take leads to a crossroads eventually. Options present themselves. Denying some to pursue others is necessary. Even doing nothing is a choice. But if you don’t regularly check your compass for true north, you may find yourself lost along the way:
“God sees who’s traveling in what direction.”
“Life constantly moves forward. There is no reverse gear….it keeps going, and you have to go with it as it is. That’s why in the Bible life is called a walk.”
“As I have watched many who ‘claimed the name’ embarrass that name and fall away, the message to me has been clear: ‘Don’t follow my followers, follow me.'”
This is an engaging little book. You can read it straight through, or read an essay a day as a devotional. It will get you moving in the right direction.