Saturday, October 13, 2012

Taking the Road Less Traveled

The path was to the right of the stadium through the trees.

I biked to campus this evening- like I usually do.  Biking is much cooler than driving—not just because I usually do it, but you can use that as a reason.  Also, the speed one goes is directly proportional to the coolness factor.  Biking this afternoon I ran into difficulty as so many people were walking around the stadium.  I decided to take my secret shortcut on the higher road and cut through a dirt trail a little higher than the stadium parking lot.  It was a good idea- but when I got on it I realized the majority of it had been torn up and was now mostly loose dirt/sand/no trail.  It was bumpitybumpitybumpitybumpity.  As I got on I thought wow, I did not know I was coordinated to ride my bike across this without going falling over!  On sand/loose dirt, if you go to slow the bike does funny things and it is easy fall to the side, or nearly impossible to get going.  This evening I found I could ride over it for an extended period of time!  I learned sometimes I don’t really know what I am able to do, until I suddenly find myself in the middle of doing it.

I was not able to ride my bike to campus when I first started this semester.  This past summer I had both knees and a hip replaced.  The joints have been a little reluctant to start working for me again, but they have slowly been coming back.  The main therapy I have been doing on them has been biking as mentioned and recently I added swimming again.  I had earlier had my other hip replaced, so this summer made it so I had a complete set- both knees and both hips.  I did not know I could handle this and still be a happy person.  But hey- I’m doing it!  Going over the muddy sand at first I was a little shocked, but the momentum of the bike carried me until I could get going.  With these surgeries I have also been carried as I learn to deal with them.  I found that being carried on my bike is a wonderful analogy for how we are lifted through the struggles we have in life.

While cutting through on my secret nolongeratrail I came to the point where I usually go down, but found it to also be gone.  Instead, it was a steep drop into the parking lot where there were large groups of people standing/walking/loafing.  I hesitated not sure what to do- the bike stopped, and I had to stand. . . .>>I am just thinking that this may seem a little insignificant- but to me it was exciting! <<  I did not know if I would be able to start again in the middle of the muddy sand.  I am not sure how long I stood there- I am sure it felt much longer than it really was as I felt self-conscious and that everyone was secretly looking at me.  At last I decided to just try- and I found I could do it!  Another thing I found I could do! It has been the same with the cancer.  Metaphorically, sometimes it seems I not only stop, but that I face-plant into the mud!  I need to rely on what carries me.  Through the trials we have in life I have found ultimately what carries me is the atonement of Jesus Christ.  I have seen it through the help of my family, happy people smiling, comforting hymns, simple answers to my prayers and so much more.  The atonement, like my bike does not work simply by us sitting.  The bike took little consistent pedaling.  It did not have to be hard or extreme, but simply consistent.  I think an interesting comparison is that a huge effort on my part made little difference if the path I was on did not require it.  It is the same with relying on Jesus Christ.  We turn to Him in little ways daily in our lives through prayer, reading the scriptures and others.  It is not helpful to spend one entire day reading the Bible and ignore the other things we have.  Rather, it is daily consistent effort that is needed.  As I rely on Christ, He carries me where I need to be!  I am grateful for how God reaches to me in my daily life.  I am grateful for His love and guidance.  I know He carries me through the struggles we have.  Unlike my bike, studying the scriptures and prayer not only helps move us forward, but it brings a renewal of determination as well.  As Christ hath said “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” “In Christ there should come every good thing.”

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