In the last few days, I think I have explained the phrase “It’s like riding a bike” multiple times because I’ve gone bike riding a couple times (once through east Amsterdam, and once through Hoofddorp and a park). This particular phrase certainly applies to me. I don’t remember the last time I rode a bike, much less rode a bike any distance farther than the length of my parent’s yard. To everyone’s surprise (including myself), I haven’t forgotten how to ride. Admittedly, my starts and stops aren’t particularly graceful. Once I get going, though, you would never know that it’s probably been a decade or more since my last real bike ride.
On one of these bike rides, though, I used an older bike, which did not have much padding on the seat. The result? One bruised bottom.
Feel free to laugh.
However, I think my bruised behind is an excellent analogy for life. (Feel free to roll your eyes.) I think we all have activities we used to do, but have stopped for whatever reason. Whether it be bike riding, crocheting, jogging, daily prayer, etc, the idea of getting back on the band wagon can seem intimidating, and the first attempt can be painful and discouraging, if you let it. There is a period of time in which starting back up is hard. It’s hard to start jogging again if you haven’t jogged in a long time. It’s hard to start daily prayer/worship if you have gotten out of the habit of doing so.
What we tend to forget, though, is the battle is in the mind. Sure, if you restart an excercise regimen, your muscles will be sore, and you may have physical pain. Yet, it is in our mind where we decide whether or not its worth it to work through the pain to do something that is healthy for our physical body. When you restart prayer, worship, scripture reading, you may not have physical pain. However, you may face discouragement. It can be difficult to adjust your schedule, realign your priorities, or even find the desire to do these things. Again, it’s in your mind where you decide, ultimately, that the importance of these activities override any discouragement.
You might get a bruised bottom in the process, but bruises heal and disappear. Before you know it, you’ll be riding like an ole pro.
What can you do today to make your life better? What have you done in the past and stopped that you can take today as the first day to get back to it? How can you stretch yourself, physically or spiritually?