This past week circumstances dictated I start riding a bike to work.
I like riding bikes so I wasn’t opposed to the idea, but let’s just say I’m greatly out of practice and shape due to far too many years of illness and injury that have kept me to minimum physical exertion.
This is how the week of riding went…
I have so many miles to go. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it. My legs are tired and my most recent knee and neck injuries are screaming at me again. What if I get hit by a car? The traffic is terrible–the smell of exhaust and noise grates on me, I can hardly get a good breath. Waiting at the lights wastes my time. I can’t believe I have to ride to work. It’s so hot and sweat is pouring down my back. Oh, there’s a bridge in the trees. What if someone is hiding there and will hurt me? It’s dark. Maybe it’s not safe. The sign says I have nearly halfway to go still to make it to work. This last couple of miles is killing me with the wind against me. How long will this take? It’s so hard…
What a great day for a bike ride. The sky is blue and a breeze will keep me cooled off as I ride. I’m so thankful for the shade of the trees and the occasional cloud that covers the sun. I see an osprey flying overhead with a fish. How fun to watch it soar! Look at the turtles on the bank. I wouldn’t see these creatures if I was driving. I’m grateful for the lights that give me a break. Most of the drivers have noticed me and been kind to let me go ahead of them. I can’t believe I’m more than halfway there! It’s been a hard ride, but I’m getting in better shape. Thank goodness for this bridge under the trees. What a great place to get cooled off. It’s taken me longer than I expected, but my boss is gracious and flexible about when I start. This may be hard, but I feel good about myself and thankful to God for sustaining me…
Different days? Nope. Different outlook.
I confess that some days the ride was harder than others, but my perspective made all the difference. I could focus on all the negative, difficult circumstances or focus on the positive things for which to be grateful.
The interesting thing is that one perspective leaves us hopeless, discouraged and frustrated while the other leaves us hopeful, encouraged and moving ahead.
So where is your focus?
A bike ride may not be the challenge for your week. Most likely it’s something of far greater significance. But as I rode, God showed me what a great analogy it is for the trials we face in life, and how he wants to help us, sustain us and give us hope.
Believe it or not, we actually have a choice.
In what circumstances do you think you could change your perspective and make your situation one of moving your life forward rather than staying stuck?