A Theology Lesson in a Bike Shop

by DanWolgemuth on July 19, 2013

I’d never entrusted my bike to the workers at Adventure Cycling before… this one-off shop is tough to notice, and frankly, had been a retail location that I’d driven by many, many times.  Ironically, it was much closer to our house than the other shops I had frequented.  So when my son, Erik, suggested that I visit it – I agreed.

What I didn’t count on was the fact that a mechanic could make a seven-year-old bike with over 9,000 miles on it ride like new.  But that’s exactly what they did.  In fact, I’ve ridden my bike over 600 miles since then and it still shifts flawlessly, and silently, and responsively. 

But here is what the guys at Adventure Cycling didn’t do when they tuned and adjusted and exchanged pieces and parts on my bicycle – they didn’t change the routes that I ride.  They didn’t flatten out the hills.  They didn’t sweep away the glass or the gravel or the excess debris.  They didn’t eliminate the valleys or lop off the tops of the mountains. 

What they did was align all of the gears and all of the parts so that they functioned like they were supposed to function.  When cycling engineers got together in Toronto to design the Cervelo, they envisioned that it would ride, and shift, and move with precision alignment.  The last six weeks I’ve experienced what my bicycle was designed to produce.  The terrain and conditions dictate what gear I’m in, and faithfully my bike responds… over and over again. The last six weeks I’ve lived this powerful parable.  The reliability of my cycle has been tested.  I’ve ridden some of the most challenging rides of my life – steep climbs, frightening descents, challenging distances and extreme conditions.  As I’ve ridden, I’ve come to realize that when I live my life in alignment with the God who made me, my journey doesn’t necessarily change.  Things don’t instantly get simpler or easier.   A life lived in obedience and faithfulness is not a ticket out of difficulty and testing and injustice and pain and suffering and brokenness… but a life lived in alignment with the character and power of God changes what happens on those hills and what happens through the valleys.

Daily life is a test.  But God – full of power and might and hope delivers just what the situation demands: 

… He is eternal when my challenge seems immediate.
… He is good when evil is pressing in around me.
… He shows me the way to grace, when I would prefer to judge.
… He is holy when compromise seems more palatable.
… When everything around me is changing, He doesn’t. (Immutable)
… He is just when dirty deals and underhanded approaches seem to win.
… And yes, He created, embodies and distributes love.
… God is merciful and He shows me the way to mercy.
… He never lacks for power. (Omnipotent)
… He is there – always, everywhere, present. (Omnipresent)
… He knows me – inside and out.  (Omniscient)
… He is ever righteousness.
… Uncreated – self-existent… even as I realize my own finality and frailty.
… Sovereign – absolutely in control… when so much seems out of control.

Tuned and aligned – life doesn’t get easy – but when I abide with my Lord, I can traverse any and every situation that comes my way.  With dignity.  With hope.  With faithfulness.  With love.  With sacrifice. 

The terrain and conditions dictate what “gear” I’m in, and faithfully and reliably my Father responds… over and over again.

Aligned to His design – alive in His love every mile of the way.  May it be so.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cheri July 19, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Thank you. Very simple comment that travels deep in thank for an awesome reminder of Gods desire. I work with youth in sport.


Bill Schoonover July 25, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Great post, by the way we need a YFC biking jersey!


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