Wanting to seize the opportunity of a rain-free day in Erie, Pa. (an oxymoron...I know) I decided that today, I’d ride my bike to work. It’s beautiful...not too humid...gas is expensive and I want to live healthier. It was a win-win all the way around it seemed! My first appointment was about 15 miles from my house on the other side of town. I said goodbye to my wife and kids and ventured out the door about a half-hour earlier then I’d normally leave. As I first pressed down the pedal, I breathed in what felt like the freshest air I’ve inhaled in days! The sun was shining on my face, the breeze was on my feet and my smile couldn’t have been larger! Perfect.
I then started my trek. Pedal after pedal I climbed hills, coasted into valleys, through the suburbs and into the city. I saw life from a perspective I didn’t normally see it...at a pace that was very unusual for a person who likes the thrill of multi-tasking while traveling at the speed of light.
Here is where God started speaking to me. The pace that I normally travel at is far too fast. So much of life is missed when you’re trying to get to your destination at a break-neck speed. (John Lennon said it well, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”) A lot of life is missed...as you’re running through life. This is nothing that I didn’t know...but I was grateful for the gentle reminder.
This word continued speaking to my heart. I arrived at my destination a mere 10 minutes past what a normal car trip would have taken me. The starting and stopping, traffic, accelerating and decelerating, and the like really were an illusion to my speed of travel.
A slow and steady pace, consistently in one direction really can take you the distances that starts and stops with warp speeds in the middle can take you! Plus, you get to experience a lot more of LIFE in the middle!
It reminded me of this verse from Ephesians 4 (MSG):
I want you to get out there and walk - better yet, run! - on the road God called you to travel...And mark that you do this with humility and discipline - not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love...
Here, Paul (the author of this passage) is reminding us that life is lived steadily over time, in one kind act after another. You and I are called to live out our faith consistently... moving in one direction...together...one small step after another! And then, through the passing of time, we’ll see the distances God can take us!
We get so wrapped up in speed. Bigger, better, faster...more! However, what God seems to value more is consistency.
Today, may we not get so wrapped up in how fast we travel. May we more so be in tune to the small steps God is calling us to take...consistently in one direction. May we remain steady no matter if we’re going uphill or downhill. May be not miss the LIFE going on all around us! And, may we keep pushing through...not in fits and starts...but steadily pouring ourselves out for each other in acts of love.