Yesterday was just my second outdoor Minnesota ride this season. The indoor training has been going well--lots of miles and feeling pretty good riding on the trainer in the basement and the garage. Yesterday brought a stiff wind out of the NW, so I planned the first half of my ride to go into the wind (so that I could have the wind assist on the way home). Needless to say, cycling in the real world of the outdoors was a different world than in the wind-free zone of my garage.
Every mile felt like a battle and every uphill was made even more challenging by the unrelenting headwind. There was no room for coasting, because even a momentary rest from pedaling brought a stunning decrease in forward speed. A pace that felt pretty easy and sustainable in the garage on the trainer felt like a lot of work out on the road.
I couldn't help but think that this was just one more area of life where the training zone or the classroom is--alone--inadequate preparation for the real world. How often has a parenting idea sounded like just the ticket, only to be shattered on the granite of my kids' stubbornness. How often has the most promising communication theory failed to translate into heart-to-heart sharing of thoughts and ideas.
How often has the faith concept from a sermon, a Bible study, or a book that seemed so elementary to integrate into my life proven to be like climbing a giant sand dune--sliding back five feet for every two gained. I shouldn't be surprised by this reality, but I wish that someone had the courage to tell us that it will not be as simple or as straightforward as it sounds. I wish that someone would be willing to risk saying that while Jesus may be the answer, that answer does not come without tremendous effort and perseverance.
Neither biking nor faith is all downhill and with the wind at your back. That you can count on!