Thursday, July 25, 2013

Slight Adjustments Make a Big Difference

Running has been a fitness hobby of mine for years. Cycling not so much. Until recently. Last February, I pulled the old mountain bike off the rack and started peddling. It stuck. So for Father’s day, I got a new road bike. With rekindled motivation (and monetary investment) I’ve been pushing through new distance thresholds. All of these have been firsts for me in the past three months: 10 miles, 20 miles, 30 miles and just last week 37 miles.

I’m energized by jumping into a new pursuit, getting introduced to and experimenting with new gear and gadgets. Even my vocabulary has been expanded with new definitions for “clipless,” “cadence,” “cartridge”, “chamois,” and “watts.” I’ve also been reminded of a few valuable life lessons. The most important of which is, ‘Always look both ways before you cross the street!’

Another life lesson I've learned is that slight modifications make a big difference when you are going to be at it for a long time. If I’m out for a quick ride around the block it doesn't matter too much how much air is in the tires and at what height the seat (saddle) is. ‘Close’ is good enough for a casual spin. However, if I’m going to be at it for an hour or two then slight modifications make a big difference. A ¼ inch difference in saddle height, on a short ride is barely noticeable but on a long ride can be the difference between walking normally and bow legged after you dismount (think “City Slickers”). Improper alignment not only causes pain but can actually cause serious injury. Slight modifications make a big difference. So it pays to be dialed in.

Let’s merge a little spiritual application here. Spiritually, the summer months afford the time to let go of the routines of life, at least for a few weeks here and there. Wisely, we use this season to take breaks, gear down, and mix up the routine with shots of recreation and play. There are still a few weeks of summer left, but very soon we will once again saddle up for the long ride. We make our annual tour through Pumpkin patches, be refueled by a Thanksgiving feast, peddle under mistletoe, around the hairpin turn of year’s End, then the steep climb up to Calvary’s hill and peak at the Empty Tomb. It’s no sprint.

As we saddle up for the long ride ahead, it is important to make adjustments now. This is the time to readjust things that have fallen out of alignment this summer.

So let’s do a quick 3-point Tune Up.

1. Check Your Worship
Are you daily engaging in private worship and weekly engaging in corporate worship? How’s your personal bible reading and prayer feeling? How’s your church attendance look?

2. Check Your Community
How’s your connection (unity) with the Body of Christ? Are you in a small group where you can give and receive encouragement, accountability, and care?

3. Check Your Mission
Are you using your gifts inside and outside the walls of the Church top bring glory to His name? Are you giving financially to the mission of the church? Where are you serving?

Ratchet up any inconsistencies. Readjust. Know that little fixes make a big difference when you’re planning to go the distance.

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