Winds of Change | Lessons from Mountain Biking & Gear Innovation

This week I was in New Zealand and Australia coming alongside some great youth workers and outdoor leaders. In my absence, Edy Sutherland offers this thought-provoking post.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will REST in the shadow of the Almighty. – Psalm 91:1 (emphasis added)


To my delight, I test rode a 29’er this weekend. That’s a mountain bike with 29” wheels to those, like me, who don’t keep up with all the changes to adventure equipment. Mountain biking in a region ravaged by beetle kill this week reminded me that much of life is learning to live with change.


In addition to mountain biking, I’ve witnessed a lot of change over the years. In 1993 I learned to snowboard on a stiff board with hard boots. Soon after, the preferred industry set-up became step-in bindings. Ultimately the industry moved toward the current standard of strap bindings.

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Two summers ago I observed tremendous improvements to Kite boarding equipment. What once was the latest and greatest now verges on dangerous and heinous. My husband learned to join the wind in quicker time with fewer dramatic crashes with the highly improved safety features.


Improvements in the ski industry have made the two plank sport almost unrecognizable to enthusiasts, like me, who travelled snow-capped mountains in the 1970’s. The horrendous awkward movements of yesterday necessary to force a straight ski to turn now give way to the effortless engagement of a curved edge even a novice can readily accomplish.


Apparel brought paramount changes to adventure sports. The invention of fleece and waterproof yet breathable fabrics greatly improved comfort and agility.

Change doesn’t take place just with equipment. In my backcountry travels this weekend I observed the devastating effects of pine bark beetle. Over the past ten years, I’ve watched entire forests change from a healthy green to a putrid red. The dense forest trails I once celebrated travelling are unrecognizable. As the storms come the dead trees are beginning to topple over. Entire hillsides are being logged; familiar trails feign the wind of change. My soul aches for what once was to still be.

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Beetle kill near Fraser, CO


In this life, there are so many changes for us to live with: circumstances change, people change, needs change, resources change, societies change, governments change, ecosystems change. Sometimes it takes an onslaught of change to get us to seek rest in the embrace of our heavenly Father.

In our respite the greatest revelations can occur.

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What may at first seem to be a time of famine in the desert turns out to manifest itself as a lush green pasture of abiding rest (Psalm 23:all). Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). When I seek Him, I aim to receive His peace among turmoil, His perspective to guide me through uncertainty, and His provision to equip me (Psalm 73:26). In a posture of rest, I’m less likely to be consumed by the high, highs or low, lows of life. I’m more apt to be glad for each day, whatever it brings, because I know the Lord is in control and He is good (Psalm 118:24).


I’ve come to learn change teaches me how to have joy, complete joy (John 15:11), not just in times of plenty but also in times of need (Philippians 4:12). I may not know the source of the wind nor which direction it will come from (John 3:8) but I rest in knowing God is good and faithful to meet me when I seek and search for Him with all my heart and soul (Jeremiah 29:13).


Read John 15:4: “Remain in me, and I will remain in you.” Among the “wind of change” in your life, consider how these words penetrate to your heart and soul?

R – remain, find refuge, become rooted

E – endure, encamp

S – stay, stand, be still

T – tarry



READ Psalm 91. The fall season brings great props. Use the changing leaves to explain how God is immutable. He never changes among an ever-changing world. God is faithful and good in the midst of change.