Since we moved to Arizona about 2 years ago, I’ve done most of my riding by myself. I left my small but mighty crew of fellow bikers in Minnesota, and not riding wasn’t an option, so most Saturday mornings you can find me pedaling somewhere on my own. I’ve learned to enjoy my solo rides – I pay attention to nature that I normally whiz by in the car, pray, brainstorm new ideas or solve problems, or sometimes sing to myself. It usually quiets my soul.
I was humming along one Saturday morning on a peaceful stretch of road, feeling pretty good about my pace. I started hearing something behind me and realized a group of cyclists were on their way up. I pedaled faster – I didn’t want to get passed! And yet, I did. Very easily, the group zoomed on by. There was one female in the group, and after I got done making excuses to myself about why I was slower than she was, I snark-ily thought, “at least I have nicer calves than she does.” God gave me a bit of a poke, and said, “Yeah, but she still passed you, so she’s doing something better than you and your nice calves!”
What was I doing?? Because I was mad at being passed, I decided to criticize someone else. Not cool, Bex, not cool at all. I had about 20 miles left on my ride, so I started thinking about the situation through a different filter– how God might see it.
DON’T CRITICIZE/COMPARE: Everyone has a story. None of us are perfect, and we don’t need to be up in each other’s business. I started making excuses on why I was slower – I don’t need to do that. I “faulted” her on her legs to make me feel better about myself, and that was wrong. We need to stop judging and let each other be. I ride because I love to ride, and my pace is what it is. She was out for a ride for her own reasons, and her pace is what it is too. What I should have done is focused on being grateful that we both have the ability to do something we apparently like to do. Well, and maybe I should have shouted out, “Go bikers! Whoop whoop! Well done!” Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
DON’T COMPROMISE: On the flip side, if something is important to you, don’t give in or make excuses why you can’t do something, just because someone else is better at it than you. If riding faster is important to me, then this situation should push me to do something about it. Find a pace partner, a group of faster riders, work on my cadence, or focus on my cardio for starters. There are a lot of things I could do to improve. If there is a goal that you have or something that you feel called to do, even if it feels huge or overwhelming, rather than making excuses, focus on little steps to get closer to your goal. Don’t let great accomplishments by others discourage you from yours! Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 1 Corinthians 9:24
DO CHALLENGE: The next time you come up against something that feels like a rock or a barrier or that makes you uncomfortable, pray and think about these questions. What is God trying to teach me? What can I learn? Should I be good where I am? Do I need to press on? How can I be better (at whatever, even if it’s staying right here)? How can I make someone else’s life better? Hold yourself accountable to always ask (I know this sounds so cheesy, but it’s true!) – What Would Jesus Do?
God has plan for your life – take some time to listen! And if the situation warrants it, shout out, “Go bikers! Whoop Whoop! Well done!” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
Rebecca (Bex) Warren
Spoke Folker since 2001