We have a 15 mile bike route that we like to ride in Madison, Indiana. It’s full of back roads, farms and picturesque scenery. But there is one part that is very difficult – it’s called highway 421. It’s a 3 mile stretch of non-stop hill. The higher you go – the steeper it gets. The last mile feels like it will be impossible to climb. Yet because I always use the same tactic I have never had to get off the bike and walk.
When I get to that last mile I always tell myself “Just one pedal at a time.” This tells my mind I never have to think about the next 20 minutes or the last half mile. It tells my mind “Just focus on what you can do at the moment – no more.” For three years this technique has never failed me. I have ridden in head winds, extreme heat and when I was exhausted. “One pedal at a time” has gotten me farther that if I pumped myself up to go twice the distance.
I have learned this also works in life. When there are trials, difficulties, hardships and disappointments I often want to figure it all out. I want to find resolve and know there will be a resolution. Yet what that always does is bring worry, frustration and anxiety. Jesus said it best when He said
“Don’t worry about tomorrow – you have no idea how it’s all going to turn out.” (Matt. 6:34)
What He was trying to convince all of us to understand was “One pedal at a time.”
I took my dog for a walk this morning. Although it was raining, spring was in the air. It won’t be long before I get my bike out. Highway 421 is calling my name. Not my favorite stretch of road to bike, but boy, when I get done, I feel like I have landed on the moon. The sense of accomplishment is wonderful.
There is so much in life we don’t like to do, even try to avoid doing. But that is life, the good with the bad, the hills with the flat roads, the pain with the blessing. We must learn to focus on the one task at hand and leave the rest in God’s hands. When that happens we will find joy in the journey.
“Dear Lord, today we give you all our cares, concerns, fears and anxieties. We choose today to live “one pedal at a time.” We relinquish control of our future to you. You are a loving Father and always have the best for us. We choose to trust you in all areas of our lives.” In Jesus name we pray. amen