Posts tagged ‘Bike ride’

Seeing Clearly Matters

When I decided to ride my bike across the United States, I didn’t realize the importance of a Garmin on my bike to keep POSTERtrack of all my stats. The Garmin tracked the temperature, speed, distance, route, elevation gain, pedal strokes, cadence, heart rate and more. You might think this amount of information is overkill, unnecessary, and just for bike “snobs.” But it is actually necessary to know this information. Without it, I would not know my fitness level or my capabilities to continue day after day. The Garmin data provided my coach with the necessary information to instruct me on how to ride the next day and the next week. I could then ride with the confidence that I would make it across the country. You could say that I trusted my coach’s judgment based upon his “inside” knowledge of me.

If you think about it, we need to see ourselves clearly in order to grow spiritually and reach our full potential. I need to know my strengths in order to work on and invest in them. I need to understand my weaknesses so I can have accountability partners to help me manage and control them. I have found that the only way to clearly see who I am and my full potential is when I submit to God and His judgment rather than rely solely on my own judgment. Yes, I find that I need God’s judgment to see myself clearly. Otherwise I will buy into the judgment of Satan that will cloud my vision. He causes me to focus on the wrong data about my life. He will either have me over emphasize my strengths or my weaknesses. It is only when I focus on God that life comes into the proper perspective for me. 

When I listened to my coach’s judgment of my Garmin data, I had a calm assurance that allowed me to ride better and better throughout my trip. The same thing occurs when I listen to God’s judgment of my personal spiritual data. Perhaps this is what is described in John 12:31-32, “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” When I focus on the cross and see God’s love for me, I am drawn to His judgment that allows me to see clearly. My advice is to focus on Jesus who went to the cross so that we could trust His judgment in our lives.


Can I Really Do This?

Can I really do this? This is the question I asked myself one month before I was to begin my ride across America on July 8, 2012. It was early June POSTERand I could not ride 50 miles on two consecutive days. My schedule for the ride across America had me riding over 100 miles each of the first two days and over 70 miles per day the rest of that first week. I was becoming acutely aware that I was not ready for the ride to Washington, D.C. This is when I hired a coach, Chris Bagg. Chris is a professional Ironman athlete. He knows endurance sports. He has experienced every obstacle imaginable in competing in the ultimate endurance challenge.

Chris invited me to his testing facility in Portland to identify my heart rate zones and test my level of fitness. He then gave me a training schedule specific to my abilities and goals. By this time I had only three weeks prior to the start of my ride. Not much time to get ready, but what a difference Chris’ training schedule made. But perhaps more important than the schedule he gave me was his statement to me at the end of the testing: “You can do this. There’s no doubt in my mind.” Over the course of the next three months, Chris gave me advice, encouragement, and inspiration that made my ride a reality. I knew I would complete the ride because I trusted the confidence Chris had in me.

We all have, are, or will face life situations that seem impossible. Perhaps you’re looking for a job, a healthy relationship, or meaning in life. Maybe you have a cherished sin you don’t think you can conquer. Or you might be struggling with greed, anger, guilt, or jealousy. Whatever your issue, there are times we all ask ourselves, Can I really do this? Can I overcome my issue? Can I gain victory? Can I be whole again?

Just like in my ride, the key to our success is found in the assurance of our ultimate destiny – salvation. Salvation is the good news that God forgives us and reconciles us to Himself. Salvation means that you and I can be changed today, have victory today, have peace today, and live in confidence of His love and acceptance. Just like Chris told me that he had no doubt about my ability to complete the ride across America, Jesus tell us there is no doubt you and I have salvation. And He should know, He’s the only One who can give this gift. We read in 1 John 5:13, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”

There is no doubt about your salvation in I John 5:13. You can do this because it’s not about your ability, but about Jesus Christ who has already done everything for you on the cross. The assurance Jesus gives us can be trusted. That’s because it is the assurance from your Coach in life who has been there before you, experienced every temptation, and overcome every obstacle. (See Hebrews 4:15) The assurance of salvation that comes from Jesus means that you CAN do this. Whatever you’re going through, you can make it because He has made it. Whatever the temptation you have, you will overcome because He has overcome. Jesus is with you. Lean into Him, trust Him, listen to Him, and He will lead you to the Promised Land.

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