ROAD CYCLING PURGES MY PRIDE – WHICH IS A GOOD THING!
Road cycling offers an opportunity to dismantle pride-filled tendencies in me. I leave the house in the early morning of 5:30 am to spin. My idyllic setting includes rolling hills, majestic mountains, trickling brooks, cool breezes, and delicate wildflowers lining the roadside. Unfortunately, I’m often met with concrete, asphalt, and gravel in the bike lane. Residential side streets bring some evidence of God’s handiwork. Birds and bunnies scurry about before the rising sun peaks over the horizon and busy people take over their habitat.
Not every retreat setting offers an abundance of serene peace and comfort. Fortunately, God is faithful to meet us, wherever we are, when we seek Him with all our heart (Matthew 7:7, Jeremiah 29:13).
SOME NEW WAYS TO IDENTIFY PRIDE
I think of pride in the forms of self-interest, self-promotion, or self-sufficiency, can resemble the inner working of the city in some ways.
- The hustle of the city or pride for that matter is void of peace and serenity, full of power and control.
- The cultural focus on “self” pushes people out of their native habitat by stifling abundant life to flourish in others.
- Native habitats or the pride filled hearts of men become covered with impenetrable materials.
- It’s a dark and dreadful place for the beauty and majesty of God to dwell.
God is ever-present even in the chaos of the city or pride filled ambitions of His people. He waits for us to seek Him. Disciples of Jesus are the dwelling place of God (Eph 2:20-22).
EXPANDING ADVENTURE THEOLOGY | CYCLING IS A FORM OF RETREAT
On my bike or anywhere for that matter, I can retreat to the temple of my mind to pray as Jesus taught His disciples (Matthew 6:9-14).
- I start with joyful songs of praise and thanksgiving recognizing He is God and I am not, vs. 9.
- I purposefully and prayerfully surrender my deceptive thoughts, my agenda, my ambition, and seek to align with God’s will, vs. 10.
- I layout my weakness before God and ask for His perspective, His peace, and His provision, vs. 11.
- I seek forgiveness for my trespasses against God and others and to offer my forgiveness to those that have hurt me, vs. 12.
- I finish by seeking God’s divine intervention to protect me from the scheming of the devil, vs. 13.
Each step I execute of the Lord’s Prayer purges my mind of pride. The efforts lead me toward a posture of reverence, humility, dependence, and away from a “self seeking” attitude.
PRIDE AND THE CITY | CAN YOU RELATE?
Pride and the city can both be an incubator for Satan’s attacks. The melting pot of urban life can sometimes bring out the worst in us. Are you inclined to feel love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness after being stuck in traffic for an hour? As I peddle along, I’m passed by distracted automobile drivers and aggressive road cycling enthusiasts. Hazards and threats surround me?
The enemy, the devil, uses these negative influences often present in the city just as he uses pride in our spiritual life. He is the prince of this world (1 John 5:19). In our minds we must also purge His clever intruding temptations, accusations, and deceptions (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Ephesians 6:10-18).
[God] mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble. — Proverbs 3:34
TAKE A SPIN!
Are you unable to retreat to a serene wilderness setting today? Here are some steps to purge the pride in your heart to allow the Spirit to reign even as the chaos of the city or temptations of Satan are present.
- P – Purify your hearts. Come near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:1-10).
- U – Uncover the source of pride in prayer (Psalm 139:23-24). Is it an appetite to satisfy the flesh, selfish ambition or the intruding influence of the devil (Philippians 2:1-11, 1 Peter 4:1)?
- R – Resist the devil and he will flee. Do not give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:27).
- G – Go do the will of the Father not try to please men (Galatians 1:10).
- E – Exemplify “self-lessness” with meekness (1 Peter 5:6).
Guest Blogger | Edy Sutherland
Edy is an outdoor adventure sport junkie, uses her experiences in the wilderness as the back story to write object lessons. She desires to build up the body of Christ to maturity to know God so intimately their souls joyfully sing “Wheee!” Edy’s blogs are where she develops the new lessons God is presenting to her. Visit her author site at www.edysutherland.com.