Rules of the Road
By Brian and Rhonda Potts
One of the hobbies that we enjoy doing together is riding our bikes on the rural roads of Johnson County (or anywhere else we find good scenery and few cars). It is a great way to share time together while enjoying God’s creation and getting some exercise. No, this is not a blog on marriage building, but…“recreational companionship” is a great way to strengthen your marriage. We digress slightly…back to the topic at hand. One of our favorite topics of discussion as we pedal down the road is what we have entitled “Rules of the Road”. These rules are guides for a good bike ride as well as for a good Christian life. We thought we would share a few of these rules of the road with you in hopes that they help you through your “ride”.
1. Aim for where you want to go instead of thinking about where you don’t want to go. As you are riding along, you don’t always have much time to respond to obstacles in the road. If you look at the hole in the road and think, “don’t hit that hole”, you will often hit that hole. Instead, if you focus your eyes on a positive direction away from the obstacle, your bike will follow your eyes and you will take a safe path. Proverbs 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths. If we keep our eyes on God, our path in this life will be much smoother.
2. Follow the leader. Organized rides often have “ride leaders”. Their job is to point you in the right direction and help you avoid hazards. Even on casual rides, the standard ride etiquette is for the person in front to point out potential dangers to the following riders by pointing or saying pithy things like “car up”, “bump” or “gravel” (Ask Rhonda about gravel, a major nemesis of all bike riders). I Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. With God as our ride leader, we can avoid many of the pitfalls of this life.
3. Use the right equipment; it makes for a better ride. When taking a long ride, we are often 10-20 miles away from where we parked our car, so it is essential to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances. We always take emergency supplies such as an extra bike tube, a pump to blow it up, band-aids, dog spray (not to attract them), cell phone, bike multi-tool and identification cards. It would be easier to go without all these things, but if you ride long enough, you will be glad you have them. We also ride with the right clothing and a helmet. Believe it, those funny looking shorts with the padding in the back really help after 20 or more miles on the bike. And the first time you hear the sound of your bike helmet hitting the pavement instead of your head, you will never ride without one again (ask Brian about wet pavement). II Tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed…, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Eph 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Why wouldn’t we take advantage of every piece of Christian equipment that God supplies us with…especially the Word of God and the helmet of salvation. The devil will throw things at us much worse than gravel and wet pavement.
4. Don’t ride through poop. This thought came during a ride through Amish country (think horses on the road). When you ride though something wet or sticky with your bicycle, the back wheel is very effective at picking up the substance and slinging it off at high speed. Not only does it go up your own back, but it is thrown out in a fan shaped pattern behind you. This doesn’t make you very popular if others are close behind. Prov 4:14-16 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble. II Cor 2:15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. We don’t always realize it, but we are constantly being observed as representatives of God…sometimes good examples and sometimes not so good. The less mud or other things that we sling, the more pleasing the aroma is that we give off for Christ.
Hopefully, these few thoughts will help you in some small way on your ride through life. We have many more rules of the road, so be on the lookout for part two.