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Category Archives: Bicycles

Resolutions

So it is has been a while since I’ve been able to write a post. The busyness of the season got me, like it probably got most of you.  Today was my first day fully back to work, and I feel refreshed after a little break.

This time of year is one of resolutions, the new year always inspires attempts to change.  I am guilty of this impulse and I put it into action today. It was a balmy 45 degrees outside according to my phone, and I bundled up and went for a bike ride.  I often lament the fact that one of my bicycles has been sitting in my office for literally months without moving. So long in fact that the tires were nearly flat. But I have made a resolution to resume having exercise as part of my routine, every day life.

So why does the beginning of a new year always push us to be introspective and searching about our lives? Why does the calendar changing make us think about the places we feel our lives fall short? I think we all feel that we don’t measure up in some respects, it may be small things or it may be in some serious part of your life, but we all feel the pressure of perfection.

This is also why so many resolutions fail, they say that resolutions are usually broken by the end of January, and soon after comes the most depressing days of the year.  I think there is nothing wrong with resolutions, I think that we all need to examine our lives and make sure that we are living as God calls us to.  But I think that often resolutions are unrealistic in their scope, and when we fail to meet our pie-in-the-sky expectations we feel the sting of failure.

So I challenge you, as I have challenged myself to return to a bit of balance with exercise and being concerned with my health, to make a resolution.  Don’t necessarily relegate resolutions to the change of the calendar year.  I think we can all be more successful if we make small achievable resolutions throughout the year. Let’s see what big changes we can make when me make small incremental changes in our lives.

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Climbing and Descending…

“28 And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God. 29 who will not get back very much more in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.” Luke 18: 28-19 NRSV

This morning was an amazing morning for weather, the temperatures were in the 60’s and the sun was shining.  I rode my bicycle to work, there were no fires when I got to my office, I even got to sit down and have some quality quiet time.  Today is exceptional so far.  Even the music played by Pandora let me get into a worshipful state of mind as I began to write this post.  It seems things are going right this morning.

I read these words, which come at the end of the parable of “The Rich Young Ruler,” which admittedly is a difficult one for me.  But these words sound such a hopeful note after the “doom and gloom” of the early passage.  This young man, seeking to justify himself and come away with a pat on the back instead gets a gut check about his wealth.  We who live in the United States are so blessed to have more than enough of everything, even when we feel we don’t have enough.  We, as the Rich Young Ruler, are often blinded to all the blessings we have, because we see other around us who have so much more.  I am so guilty some days of wanting to keep up with others, when I am so incredibly blessed.

But what are the nature of blessings? Are blessing only material or monetary? Or do our blessings include our health, happiness, and the sunshine that is so abundant on a day like today?  I love riding my bicycles as I’ve written before, and my commute from my house to the church includes several large hills.  By the time I get to the top of these hills I don’t like riding my bike, especially when I’m loaded down with all of my stuff for the day.  But when I go home the sides of the hills that were so tough are long descents, and the feeling of flying down a long hill is like no other.

Sometimes we have to struggle to really understand our blessings, and for me riding a bike is an awesome example of this.  Because I am the size I am the climbing up a hill is not so fun, but when I fly down the other side it’s always a thrill.  We have good times and bad times and life, and often the bad times help us to appreciate all of the good things in our life. Let us remember our many blessings this week…

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2010 in Bicycles, Life, Point of View

 

The Opening Volley

This is a blog, but you folks who are reading already knew that.  More specifically this is a blog that is all about point of view, how do I see things, how does my frame of reference affect my interpretations?  But a more important question for all of us to ask ourselves is, how does my frame of reference color how I see the world?

When I think about myself, not in self-importance, but in genuine introspection about my life and the world I see many different streams in my life.  I feel that I a person that is made up of many different streams of thought that make an interesting amalgamation of who is Thomas.  Some of these many streams are at times maddening to myself.  I grew up in a small town, in the country actually, then I moved to Athens, GA then I made the leap and moved all the way to Washington DC.  How does my having lived in all of these different places and now living in Macon color the way I see the world.

One of things that I see in myself is my differing ideas about how to care for the world we live in.  If you rad the tag of the blog (or at least the profile page) you will see that I like to ride bicycles, but I live in a town and a country where cars rule the road.  I have all the information about bikes being good for the environment, and also for my own personal health.  But because I ride bikes I see the world in a different way, especially when I see other riders out on the road.  I see the world of traffic and the contempt with which cyclists are treated by drivers and I don’t understand.  But it is because of my experience riding my bike on the road that confuses me all the more.

But here is where point of view, frame of reference, or whatever you would like it comes in to such a place of importance.  I know that my point of view is different from yours, but I’m not necessarily wanting to convince you of my position.  I hope to make you think, to raise an idea that might cause you to question.  This is a blog about faith, culture, life, and so many other things.  I might share funny things I see, or things that make me sad or things things that are just things.  I hope to be able to bring scripture into the area of our lives, because as Christ followers it is our guide.

The most basic question to be asked by my writing, and hopefully your comments, is how do we live authentic lives that are true to our belief systems.  What do we do when our belief systems seem to be in conflict with the world  around us? How do we reconcile a world more than 2000 years removed from the writing of scripture?  How do we live out our faith in the building and sustaining of community of faith, and other communities that we are a part of?

I have called this post “The Opening Volley” for a reason. I hope to start a conversation and a virtual community of people talking about how their faith impacts their lives.  My prayer is that I will have something useful, or at the very least entertaining, to say and that I will be able to contribute to the overall conversation on faith.