Lessons from a Bicycle

What can you learn from a bicycle? A fair amount, I’m convinced. But I think the learning increases exponentially when you take a tour with friends.

Last week, I helped lead a 160-mile tour through southern and central Indiana with three other campus ministers and thirteen college students. Many of them were novice riders who had never been more than fifteen miles on a bicycle at one time. Much of this trip was about teaching them to ride or to work together to support the riders.

The last night, however, was about listening to the trip participants talk about the things they learned from the trip. It seems to me that their insights make for terrific life metaphors, plenty applicable to bikers and non-bikers alike.

So here is a partial list of TdF 2013 Lessons from a Bicycle:

Personal space is important. But don’t fall out of earshot of the others.
Watch out for each other. It’s the best way to live.
You have to know when to push forward, but also when to stop.
Pay attention. Anything can happen.
Sometimes it’s okay to get lost.
Then again, you aren’t really lost until you run out of gas.
Surprisingly good things happen when your cell phone is stowed away for a few hours.
Simplify.
We are capable of more than we think.
We are capable of eve more when we work together.
Sometimes those that are easiest to overlook are the most important to our journey.
The downhills are all the sweeter when you earn them on the uphills.
The hills look bigger from a distance. Once you’re on them, all you can do is pedal
So don’t stop pedaling. Ever.

More thoughts from Tour de Faith to come in the weeks ahead, I’m sure. Until then, stay safe and ride on!

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