I’ve come to the conclusion, that life is a lot like mountain biking. Hills and valleys leading us from gorgeous mountaintops to treacherous valleys. The path often tree laden and rocky with very low visibility, while at other times gentle with expansive views.
Like a mountain range, our lives have highs and lows. One mountain top might be lower than the one before but located in a long deep valley. Perhaps we see a distant mountain as we’re walking on a long meandering path. It might have a steady gradual slope that is hard in ways we can’t quite put into words. While at other times we might climb rocky cliffs fraught with obstacles on our way to a peak above all others. Your mountain biking path might not resemble mine much at all.
I’m a fairly fearful person. My self-protection mode is strong. I watch in awe those who are missing the safety gene. I envision people like Lee Stacy, flying down a mountain, leaning into the speed or feet out to experience the full adrenaline rush. He’s the kind of guy that is not afraid. He sees the valley but wants to get his momentum up to climb that next hill. He is fully aware that falling off that bike at that speed could break his kneecap (again). He’d be the first person to say, “What am I supposed to do? Not live?”
Meanwhile, I’ve already changed from pumping my breaks to walking my bike. I know I’m gonna have to drag that bike up the next hill, but I am not embracing the “it only hurts for a little while” mentality. I’m toying with the idea of abandoning that bike altogether. I might even camp-out on the slope, having given up in the moment. My mind having told me, we’ve gone far enough. Several passing mountain bikers later, I’ll start to wonder if I can make it a little further.
Lee and I would experience the path very differently. God designed us differently. We would each experience the mountain tops differently too. Me laying on my back trying not to die as I catch my breath, while Lee is already ready to take on that next hill. I would linger and weigh my choices while he would embrace the unknown. His journey encourages me. My insight might save him a tumble. He’s going to feel the experience and I’m going to intellectualize it.
But just like in life, I’m not supposed to compare my journey with his. God will give me what I need on that mountain top to sustain me through the valley. The struggles I go through will make me stronger, and over that next hill I might need that new strength. Or the rest I decided I needed might be my mountain top after all as I take in all the beauty and little touches God laid in my path to show me how much He loves me.
Jesus knows the path that lies ahead of me, and He knows me. I need only to trust that He planned the entire journey long ago. I don’t have to carry everything I need. I can let Him carry the burden. I can trust Him with the details and just enjoy the view. Whether we’re walking or flying down a hill, Jesus knew that’s what I needed right now. He’s the perfect travel guide and He knows exactly how to get me home. I just need to trust Him.
By Vicki L. Pugliese
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