Saturday, October 26, 2013

Why your current struggles don't disqualify you

Maybe our journey of faith is a bit like riding a bike. 

If you've ever tried to ride really slowly, you'll know that it's actually harder and far more unsteady than if you get up a faster speed. 

Sometimes our faith is like that. We feel like we're failing on the smaller things, we feel unsteady and inconsistent and like we can't quite get the hang of it. (Whatever it may be - prayer, faith, patience, love...) And we begin to wonder - if I can't get it right at this slow pace, how will I ever be able to handle more? 

But maybe it's like riding a bike. With some momentum on a smooth path (how good that God makes our paths straight!) you might actually find that when more is asked of you the flow of faith will keep you steady and moving, and you won't feel like you have to push it quite so hard to achieve things.

Of course, you do still need more fitness & stamina, and more practice and skill if you want to be a good bike rider who can navigate obstacles, climb hills and go the distance. 

An inexperienced rider who races ahead because they like the feeling of speed could get into trouble if something tries to unseat them and they haven't learned to maintain their balance. 

And they will quickly tire if they try to keep that pace for very long without enough endurance and support. 

In our spiritual lives we can take this as encouragement that what seems like a hard slog now won't always seem that way, and the fitness and practice we are getting now will be vital for the future. 

And we should also remember to encourage and build up others to come along on the ride with us. 

Because when you do pick up speed, you want others with you. 

Think of an elite cycle race where the peloton helps each other. You might have some sprinters who lead the way, but even then they are usually still working in a team with a common purpose. Even the best of the best cyclists need others to draw them onwards, to keep the pace, and to have the slip stream to rest in even as they are moving, if they are going to last the distance. 

We need the same. We need to draw each other on in faith and provide a resting place even while in motion. 

Remember this analogy and don't fear your current struggles disqualify you from any more than slow and struggling, or stuck in training wheels. 

You are learning everything you need, and when the time comes and the pace of what God is calling you to increases, it will be easier than you think. You will find that even though the demands may also increase, you will be ready and able to take your place in the body of other 'riders', and the momentum and flow of the Spirit will draw us all onwards, for the ride of our lives with God!

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