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Saturday, May 23, 2009

God speaks even in the "flat" times.

God speaks to me when I ride my bike.

While riding my bike one brisk morning, God reminded me on Creve Coeur Mills Rd.--a flat road--that life has got its high, low, and flat times.* The "flat" times, our daily walk, are good for building good habits.

In the flat times, I'd say, we are neither in despair, struggling to keep up our heads, nor over joyed, full to the brim with happiness; we are putting one foot in front. I don't think this time can be categorized as the "valley" because we have our needs met; we don't have too much or too little. Boredom is the great temptation, as the grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side mirage will dazzle us if we lose our focus.

On a bike, speed and cadence generally remain stable on a flat road. It's not as hard as peddling up hill and it's not as easy as letting hills carry you, but you've got to keep peddling or you'll fall over. While in training, flat roads are great places to build endurance by holding a consistent, moderately fast (70-80%) pace. The goal of training being to ride faster for longer.

In this life, God calls his children to walk worth of the great call on their lives (Eph. 4:1), which requires learning to put off the old "self" and to put on the new "self" (Eph. 4:17-23). In other words, our focus is learning to respond to the good urges** and kill the bad ones (Crabb).

The punch line from my short conversation with God: I'm to work towards consistency in responding to the good urges, which is best cultivated in "flat" times. Even more, I need to daily set aside time for prayer, Bible reading, and meeting with others for mutual encouragement to develop habits that will help me sprint out of the valleys, coast along the hills tops and endure to end of the ride.

*Ok, so I don't know if one can really say that these are cut and dry "seasons" of our lives, or more specifically, my life. Maybe these times can someone over lap. I'm merely using these terms "high," "low," and "flat" to describe feelings that I have at different times in my life.

**The good urges come from the new heart gives to those who repent and rely on God (Acts 4:12, Acts 26:20, Ezek. 36:26-27).

Crabb, Larry. "Connection: A Radical New Vision." Crabb writes: "The center of a biblical theory of personality is the idea of two sets of urges within us, good passions and bad passions, bad passions that exist because of the fall, good ones that are reliably present under the new covenant. God deals with our bad passions and good passions in a way we are expected to imitate; connecting with another Christian involves doing for each other, as we struggle with our internal civil war, what God does" (73).