This week’s sunny skies, calm winds and mild temperatures signaled the beginning of a new cycling season. Pleasant thoughts filled my mind as I gathered my gear and headed out for my first spring ride. It sure will feel good to get back on my bike again. With excitement, I swung my leg around to mount the saddle and…Miss! I laughed, collected myself, then sighed. Another thought came in. Discouragement often accompanies a new season.
Once on the bike, I huffed and puffed my way up a very minor incline. All the while, I kept repeating, I don’t remember this requiring so much work last year. Do I want to enter another new season? I faced temptation to give up right at the start.
Then, the voice of my Companion entered the scene. Stay the course!
Aware of his voice, I continued on through several very unpleasant swarms of insects that led to even more unpleasant thoughts. I shouldn’t deal with insects now. Ridiculous! Officially, it’s still winter.
Again, my Companion spoke to me. Stay the course!
Minutes later, I approached the new bike path completed along my familiar route. It’s intended to make traveling safer for pedestrians and cyclists along this busy road. Soon, I slowed a bit for a jogger. On your left, I cautioned, as I sailed by. What if he had not yielded? Fear presented itself.
Again, the voice of my Companion comes through. Stay the course!
Not too far ahead, two mothers pushing baby carriages and a young child spanned the width of the path. I checked my time and decided to make my way back to the road, even though motorists prefer that cyclists use the bike path. My springtime songs of joy now ground to a complete halt. I don’t like the new bike path. It’s not fun! The goofy thing slows me down. Where will I ride? Maybe cycling’s not worth the trouble anymore.
And once again, I hear the voice. Stay the course!
Beginning to heat up, I lifted a gentle cry to heaven. Then, God, please strengthen me!
A new season often brings opposition and discomfort. It also brings opportunity for growth in confidence, stamina, grace and fitness for duty. God calls me to prayer during these times, to request his strength to help me ride through the conflicts. Temptation to quit can all the more serve as the trigger reminding me to pray for God’s strength to Stay the Course!
Please pray with me: Father God, the challenge of a new season intimidates me. Discouraged, I want to quit. When I feel weak, remind me to pray. Strengthen me, that I might not give up, but continue to complete the work with even greater determination. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
They were all trying to intimidate us. They thought we would give up and not finish the work. But God made me strong. Nehemiah 6:9