The anxiety settled in immediately after signing up for a road cycling event that was about twice as long as I’m accustomed to riding. What if I get too tired or there is too much pain and I can’t go on? What if I just do not like cycling for that long?
I raised these concerns with a friend who is much more experienced at road cycling than I am and his response reminded me why were are friends in the first place. First, he listened to my concerns. Next, he encouraged me and reminded me of some of my training and history which should indicate that I’d be okay. And the best part was that he took action, not just with words. He drove me to the event and rode alongside me throughout (and even loaned some of his equipment to me). We both completed the ride as planned and had a great time!
While reflecting on the cycling, I saw some parallels to the hope that I have in Jesus (with reference to 1 Peter 3:15):
- There was a decision to be made. Ride or not. Choosing to ride could bring joy and satisfaction that I hadn’t experienced. Choosing not to ride would leave me to wonder and worse, to resent not taking a chance. And in faith, we all have a choice: Trust in what we see here and now, or take a leap and trust in the unseen.
- I had to have faith that I’d complete the ride. While I had done some training to prepare, the only way to find out for sure was to let go of any fears and move forward. In the Christian faith, the more we let go of the things of this fleeting world, the more joy we experience and the less worry we have.
- I was mentored by someone with more experience and wisdom about cycling. We all need Christian mentors to encourage and equip us along the journey.
- There were indicators pointing me to the right decision. Historical longer rides, other training, acceptable physical examinations, the fact that there’d be help along the way. In faith, we have so many indicators pointing to our creator. Such as our beautiful planet and all of its wonders, the air we breathe is a perfect combination for our bodies, the feeling of love which oftentimes is unexplainable, the words of the Bible, and how they can be properly applied to all of life’s circumstances. There’s the fulfillment of prophecy through Jesus Christ, and the peace that has so many times overwhelmed me in times of crisis and times of certainty.
What are the reasons for the hope that is in you? Pray for an opportunity to share this with someone and be ready!
Today’s reading: 2 Kings 24-25; 2 Chronicles 36; Psalm 126; 1 Peter 3