BY REV. CLINT LOVEALL
SPIRIT LAKE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Posted by Dickinson County News (blog) -- source
Earlier this summer, I had the privilege to participate in the Okoboji
200 [http://okoboji200.org/], which is a bicycle ride from Des Moines to
Okoboji to raise funds and awareness for human trafficking relief. I
learned disturbing information about abuse in our state and around the
world, and it was great to contribute in some small way.
Spending all day on a bicycle gave me lots of time to think, and since I
was surrounded by other people on bikes, I mostly thought about
cycling. By the end of the day, I think I noticed a few things that have
application beyond the bike as well.
In no particular order, here they are;
When you are struggling, get help from the group. In cycling, a pack of
riders riding together is called a "peloton" (from a French word that
means 'little ball'). Cyclists often ride in a pack because if you are
in the middle or back, there is much less wind resistance. This means a
group of riders can travel faster than individual riders. So, when you
are struggling, the best thing to do is surround yourself with people
who are stronger at that moment and follow them. They literally help you
along the way.
That's not just true in cycling. Whether it's grief, anxiety, or some
other struggle, most of us would do well to surround ourselves with
solid people and follow them. Going alone usually means exhaustion. Then
when you are stronger, it might be your turn to lead for someone else.
Pay attention, but look around. When you ride in a group, you obviously
have to keep your eye on what's happening in front of you. Wander off
path and you are likely to cause problems. However, if you don't pick
your eyes up now and then, you end up spending the whole day not seeing
anything but the pavement and the back tire of the person in front of
you. Every now and then you have to lift your eyes. You have to take a
look around and enjoy the scenery. Too many times we slog through our
days without really paying attention, and there is no telling how much
we miss. Of course, we need to focus on the important things in front of
us, but without a good look around now and then, we'll probably find
ourselves missing some great things around us.
On an all day ride, there comes a point for everyone when they would
like to stop. Maybe it's fatigue, soreness, or just boredom, but
everyone has a moment where they wish they were done. But, they keep