Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Biking Tips For Life

The other day I posted and claimed to have eaten a bushel load of brownies and ice cream. Or was it sherbet. I can't remember, I'm in a sugar fog right now.  Well, I exaggerated. I had one brownie, two at the most. OK, I had three but I absolutely did not eat eight. Unless you include the ones from the night before.

I also claimed I was going to quit riding my bike to work and start driving my pickup. I exaggerated. After writing that, I habitually walked out the door, hopped on my bike and pedaled downhill against a 15 mile an hour headwind for 9 miles. It was long and exhausting. The return trip was twice as easy even though it was uphill. I love the wind at my back.

It usually takes me around an hour and a half total to ride the round trip to the shed and back. This is because I'm often fighting a headwind and then enjoying a tailwind (or vice versa), freighting massive cargo (that would be myself), and negotiating a few terrain gradients that make life easier or harder, depending on which way I'm rolling.

Life is a lot like this biking thing. Sometimes it's fun and easy. Sometimes it's uphill and against the wind. Once in a while, coming from one who has first-hand knowledge in both life and biking, you may end up in a head-on collision.

I am finding this hour and a half of riding quite beneficial. During this time I have no distractions unless I get a call from my wife. I don't really mind her calls unless I'm busy fighting a uphill battle and headwind at the same time. While cruising, I have silence and still time and peaceful surroundings. I get to think about ways to solve my inventing problems and even dream up new ideas. No one talking back at me and I can talk without fear of offending anybody.

However, once in a while I have to kick a dog that chases me.

I'm also able to think about blessings I have which are many. I think of how broke I am which in many ways is a blessing in disguise. I marvel at how things always keep working out for me, especially when I'm living correctly and expending effort for the Lord's kingdom and in service to others. Most importantly while I'm on the bike, I'm able to meditate about the most important aspects of life without the distractions of the tv, internet, phone, paperwork and smashing my finger with a hammer.

Traveling helps me think. For some odd reason, it is much easier for me to meditate with an eternal perspective while biking than driving a car. Perhaps it's because I'm in a more natural environ.

Eternal perspective is so much better than your normal, everyday outlook. It has no worries about the price of gas or the world's political climate. Carnal desires, commandment-breaking actions, loose thoughts and talk are not encountered in this sphere. It carries no financial concerns or distracting excitement of the next big deal. No envy of those who look like they're higher up the ladder of temporal possessions or angst about ongoing world disasters is present while dwelling on eternal principles. When I have eternal perspective, I have peace. I don't care about man-made gods.

Man-made objects and lusts hold no place in the eternities. They will all turn out to be smoke and mirrors, rust and carbon in the very near future. We will exist long after our toys are gone. Eternal perspective answers the age-old question of why life isn't fair in a most satisfactory manner. Birth and death begin to be understood as essential steps in our progression. Eternal perspective is a completely different realm than the common views of the world that most of us pack around daily. Eternal perspective must be sought and once attained, allows seeing life for what really matters. A constant striving for this perspective is necessary to keep it close.

Death holds great sorrow and no hope to those living for today. Death holds no sting but great promise for those living for eternity.

Pedaling along, I get to think about things that really matter. I think about my life and family. I think about death and loved ones who have already passed on. I think about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the ultimate blessings and gifts of forgiveness and living again in the hereafter. I think about my weaknesses, which are many, and what I need to do for course corrections. I can pray and pedal at the same time. I can even bow my head while riding. However, I have found it is not wise to close the eyes for too long.

This phase of my life is the best.

I can clearly see that boatloads of money, lavish homes, fast cars, vast holdings, famous personalities, haughty attitudes, selfish actions, base desires, harmful habits, sin, unrighteous dominion and all the other trappings that most all of us are naturally inclined to gravitate to are actually worth nothing. In fact, a few are usually a negative and most are always a negative.

The obtaining of toys and accolades and accomplishments naturally detracts and often absolutely prohibits the gifts of humility, desire for spirituality and knowledge of things as they really are. Rushing around in the daily grind and then trying to unwind by the world's entertainment systems is not conducive to an eternal perspective. All this coming from a guy who bought a brand new Corvette from the factory without telling his wife or his banker. Who spent decades trying to see how much trouble he could get into and out of. All this from a forgetful one who sometimes forsook the very principles he now strives to remember daily.And still fails at regularly.

I know these things are true. I spent a lot of time chasing the grind and action. Been there. Done that. It's not true happiness.

Now, I just ride my bike and think. I know what is most important. Now I spend a lot of time asking for forgiveness.

I have peace more now. In times past, I often didn't.

Went to a church meeting last night in Pasco. A 60-mile round trip. No, I didn't ride my bike. Once in a while I splurge and treat myself royally by riding in a four-tired vehicle that has doors and a headwind-breaking windshield.

That hour and a half meeting was 1,000 times more uplifting than an average night spent tv watching & internet gazing. It focused on things as, you guessed it, they really are. One of the items briefly mentioned was our church website  It has some interesting stories from some interesting people.

I came home and checked it out a little more thoroughly than I had in the past. Good stuff in my opinion.

Here's one 3-minute clip from the website that touched me...   It's about a lady named Jenny Hess.

And since I'm on a preaching kick, permit me to quote a relevant bit I memorized many years ago.

Isn't it strange that princes and kings,
And clowns that caper in sawdust rings
And common folk like you and me
Are builders for eternity.

To each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mask and a book of rules
And each must make 'ere life is flown,
A stumbling block or a stepping stone.

I'll get back to humor in the next day or two. You know, the stuff that we all like but has no lasting value. Don't forget to watch the Jenny Hess video clip.


ginny said...

good stuff, Ben

Carylee said...

Thanks Ben,wow pretty serious thinking there. I do appreciate your blog.