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Monday, August 13, 2012

Cycling and Christianity

"For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few" (Matthew 7:14)
The Greek word I want to comment upon is θλίβω (hard).  A good definition of this word would be, "to cause something to be constricted or narrow, press together, compress, make narrow" (BDAG).  In the case of a road it becomes a source of difficulty to those using it.

A few days ago I was able to watch some of the Tour de France.  Being a bicycle rider myself there were certain things that I noticed about the Tour.  First, there are not that many people who are in the Tour.  Second, everyone seems fast when the road goes downhill.  Third, there are some who break the rules and use drugs to help them have the strength to go uphill.  Fourth, in order to climb the grades that they climb they must consume a lot of food and water.  Fifth, the roads at the top of the mountain are extremely narrow and only a few make it to the top (Less than 200 hundred people finish the Tour).  Sixth,  there are far more spectators than there are competitors.  Last, at the top of one very important climb a bystander through carpet tacks on the road and caused over 30 flats.

I usually ride my bike on Monday's and as I rode I was thinking about bikes and Christianity and I offer you the following thoughts that parallel the above paragraph and coincide with the verse that Jesus spoke.  First, there are few who are walking the right path.  Second, people look like good Christians when things are going well (church is full, plenty of money, programs for the kids, pastor is funny and entertaining, music is like they like it, etc.).  Third, some people cannot follow the standards set by Jesus so they look like Christians on the outside, but on the inside they are full of dead men's bones.  Fourth, in general many confessing Christians are not consuming the right quantity of the bread of life and they do not drink enough from the well that never runs dry.  Fifth, the glorious view of Zion is never seen by many people.  Sixth, the number of people who are glad someone else is doing evangelism, missions, teaching, serving, preaching, praying, giving, and encouraging far outnumbers the people who are actually doing it.  Last, there is no shortage of people (even confessing Christians) who are more than willing to take down those whose lives make them look so fake.

What about you?  Are you going downhill or uphill?  It is easy to go downhill, anybody can do it.  Billions of people go downhill into the world, sports, entertainment, popularity, Facebook, surfing endlessly on the web, and etc., but it seems that there are few who are disciplined in Scripture reading, prayer, memorization, service to the local church, evangelism, and missions.  Well I have digressed into meddling a bit so I must end this post.  Peddling uphill may be 'hard', but the benefits are eternal.