Thursday, August 3, 2017

Life vs. Mountain Biking

Mountain biking here in our neck of the woods means hitting the world class single track through the old mining land of Cuyuna. The dirt is red iron ore, so a ride in the Cuyuna Recreation Area is referred to as "shredding the red." Bless. The deep lakes (made decades ago by mining iron ore) are clear as glass, surrounded by evergreens, making the water look like a magical fairy land. And naturally, moving the dirt formed great hills beside these plunges, creating a unique landscape. It's a fearsome thing to behold. (You can read more about the rich history and a community revived here.) Every time I'm in those woods feeling that rush of balance and speed and presence of mind, I can't help but think of the parallel between biking and life. Here:

  • Come prepared with the proper gear for safety and survival. There are specifics for biking (helmet, padded shorts, water bottle, tools), and life (Jesus). But there's also the common necessity: a group of friends who know where you are and will encourage you, helping you back up when you crash (the crash is inevitable). 
  • Remember the past/what you've passed, but DON'T LOOK BACK. Looking back can mean instant disaster for you and the friend following you. The friend in front of you will have to stop their own progress, back-track, all because you weren't attentive to the right thing. But don't feel bad! Your friends have messed up too. But hopefully you're all learning and leaning in.
  • Look ahead- but NOT TOO FAR AHEAD. Have an idea of what lies farther up the path, but don't focus on it. Pay closest attention to the here and now.
  • Learn from other riders/life-livers, but don't expect your bike/life to take the same bounce as the next person. Your own particular path won't be exactly the same as anyone else's, but that's fine! It's necessary, actually, and will make for the most interesting ride. 
  • Train expectantly. Your training will help guide your thoughts and actions in a smooth, methodical way. Not to say there won't be unplanned difficulties, but if you expect the unexpected, you won't be surprised when it's tricky. Or when it's fun.
  • Recognize and appreciate mercy. There will be danger, but there will also be piles of close calls that, in hind-site, have your guardian angel's finger prints all over. Be in awe of those moments. Grace is amazing.
  • Be teachable. Hearing advice or correction with openness, humility, and discernment will grow your character- after all, God uses people to be his voice so often, it'd be a shame to form a critical response habit and miss solid tips on magnifying your adventure.
  • Rest reverently. Even if you're on a mission to shred the red, stop at the top of Yawkee trail, look out over the water, reflect long enough to be awe-struck by our huge God. There are many moments in our daily living that we often miss because we're on a get more done, to read one more chapter, to watch one more episode. Rest is SO DIFFICULT for me. I am a doer. But I want to learn to be a rester too. Using rest to refocus is a way to sharpen our senses, make us grateful, and ultimately draw out reverence for our Savior, Creator of the Universe.
Happy Trails!

1 comment:

Ellie said...

Love all of this! Great tips!