I was a Schwinn rider in the 1960s. In those days, a kid's bike was their prized possession. It was used almost daily as long as the weather cooperated. We rode everywhere. Our thoughts had nothing to do with strangers or abduction. We worried about where the gang was and what time our mom would call us in.
If we cruised long enough, we'd spy bikes parked with kick-stands digging into lawns. We'd add our Schwinn to the group and head for the backyard where they might be dividing up teams for a round of "Cops and Robbers on Bikes." The most coveted achievement of neighborhood bike rides was gaining permission to ride to the nearest drug store for candy. It was roughly 2 miles away and visited frequently by car. But, by bike, without a parent, was a feat reserved for biking legends. I only got to go once but I stood taller than my 4' 8" for a week.
There were several hills in my neighborhood and I tried to plan my rides so that I descended. The heat of August often found us standing on the pedals and pumping our way up the hill with sweat. Those truly defeated were off the bike and walking it up to the top. But down... ah, now that was a treat.
I'd speed up before I hit the crest of the hill knowing the ride down would be that much sweeter. And sweet it was as my blonde hair blew behind me in waves and the humid summer air raced across my freckles. I coasted down the hill with hands free, balanced and loving the freedom. No work involved here. No pumping pedals. No shame of walking. The only threat was hitting a rock and skidding to a messy finish line. Without question - Coasting was the best.
The other day, I was reminded of coasting. Of how easy it was and how good it felt. This time, though, when I thought of coasting, it brought me guilt. I've been coasting. And I feel the need for speed. I'm a woman who told Jesus she'd devote her life to him. And in many ways, I have. And in many ways, I've coasted. My life is a comfortable mess. My relationship with Him is still strong, but I'm sensing a "coasting" when it comes to others. You see, I serve where it feels good.
I lead studies with women in my church. Fellow bike riders, so to speak.
I socialize with people who share the same faith and lifestyle. Their kick-stands land in the same yards.
I've been given directions to the store and the responsibility to show those who are lost. Do I?
I've trusted in his help on the rocky roads, but I've forgotten to encourage others wobbling on tired treads.
It's time for me to quit coasting. I've just been enjoying the ride. I must be ready to stand when called and face the hill. The time is near when I'll feel eternity's freedom blowing across me and I'd like to see familiar faces smiling beside me. On your mark, get set...