I tried skate boarding one summer. I could at least stay on one and never had a bad wreck. It wasn’t because I was good, but it was because I never risked getting better. I think in the Age of Entitlement we fail to recognize that stunts like this guy, Kilian Martin, is doing required lots of wrecks. When was the last time you risked a wreck?
So, I am trying to ride my bike to work at least once a week. Depending upon the weather and my schedule I pick a day and just do it. It’s a 17 mile round trip and I end up burning around 1200 calories. It’s that last fact that is a real motivator. The more often I do that the more I don’t have to worry about what I eat and drink. However, I don’t ride my bike from home. I drive to the Horse Park and park at the head of the Legacy Trail, a run, walk, bike trail that takes me right to work. It’s a great trail and it was a cool morning. It was a perfect morning.
It’s the drive to the Horse Park bit that makes my actions inexcusable. You’ll see what I mean in a minute.
On Tuesday night I packed my backpack. This time I even remembered underwear and an extra shirt for the trip back. Nothing defeats the clean and fresh feeling of a shower like having to wear sweaty underwear. I remembered to pack a water bottle this time. The last time, and first time, I was left dying of thirst and remained dehydrated most of the day. I even packed my laptop to use at my second job that evening. I thought I had everything and made my way to the car. As I left the driveway I remembered that someone had borrowed my truck last weekend and removed my bike helmet from the back seat. Proud for not forgetting it, and recalling an innocent trip to Wal-Mart that resulted in a tumble over the handle bars, I opened the garage door and retrieved my helmet.
Before I got to the end of the street I recognized that my lovely wife had left the truck on empty. She had taken my truck the night before which put a little monkey wrench into my plans to pack everything up for my trip as soon as I got home from our family outing. So, I pulled into the gas station to fill up, and was on my way in no time.
I arrived at the trail promptly at 7:00 am and judged that I would be to work, showered and in my chair by 8:00 am. I parked smartly behind a tree so that I would get afternoon shade. I selected my podcast for the ride, opened the Map My Tracks App and selected cycling as the exercise of choice. I made sure my Garmin Forerunner was reading my heart monitor and I exited the vehicle with my backpack in tow.
I looked into the bed of the truck and was immediately struck by what I saw.
That’s right I had everything but the bike for my bike ride. I was tempted to run the trail but a recently strained right calf was far from ready for that.
I know what you are saying, “How do you forget your bike?”
Here’s the kicker. I had multiple opportunities to recognize that the bike was missing. I walked right past the bed of the truck to get in the first time. When I exited and entered the truck a second time when I went to retrieve my helmet would have been a good time to recognize. Even the gas station where I stood at the bed of my truck for at least 10 minutes would have been a redeemable situation, but it wasn’t until I needed the bike that I recognized it was missing.
I had remembered the day before that I needed to put the bike in the truck. I had planned to put the bike in the truck upon my arrival home. But I never actually put the bike in the truck.
It reminds me of the parable that Jesus tells of the two sons who were told to do something by Dad. One said he would and didn’t do it and the other said no, but did it (Matthew 21). Often our spiritual development gets short circuited by confusing intention with action. Sociologists have even discovered that you are less likely to achieve a goal if you tell others about it, than if you keep it to yourself. For some reason our brain seemingly convinces us that we’ve already achieved the goal.
I don’t know if that is what happened to me, or if habit just got in the way, or if I’m getting old, or if God knew my right calf needed another day. I’d like for the last one to be true. In any case, I failed to reach my goal for the day, but God willing, I’ll try again.
However, the events of the day have also caused me to look retrospectively at where I have confused intention and action. I’m asking, “Where have I fallen short of actually following through?” and “How can I eliminate the intention-action confusion in the future?” I might need to make a list and check it off, or maybe I just need to slow down and make sure I have everything for the journey.
Can you relate?
I thought I would sum up my top ten books. These books are books I would read or have read more than once and definitely refer to often. They’ll be on my shelf to lend to others or first on the list to give to others.
Uncommon Leadership: Servant Leadership in a Power-Based World – 2nd Edition“>Uncommon Leadership by Robert Kuest is a MUST read book for every pastor and elder. In the day where the CEO rules this book will bring into focus what we should be doing.
Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs“>Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs by Bill Hybels is something worth reading every year. You’ll find something that relates to your situation and will encourage you to trust God with the results.
The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God“>The Divine Conspiracy and Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ (Designed for Influence)“>Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard are serious books for people who are serious about making disciples.
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story“>A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller or anything else by him. This book especially showed me that most often the only thing standing in the way of me is me.
The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn’t Exist“>The Christian Atheist by Craig Groescel describes with great accuracy the problems that we now face in the Church with people who claim to be the Church.
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself“>When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert will change how you help people and will help you quit enabling them to live far from God.
Redemption: Freed by Jesus from the Idols We Worship and the Wounds We Carry (Re:Lit)“>Redemption by Mike Wilkerson is a great resource for trying to move people from Christian Atheism to adopted child of God.
Too Small To Ignore by Wes Stafford will change the value you put on a child’s life and will hopefully demand that you put some skin in the game involving their physical well-being and their spiritual destiny.
Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World“>Love Does by Bob Goff should encourage you to live a life worth writing a book about, or could discourage you by pointing out how little you’ve done so far. It could go down as the single most influential book I have ever read.