God and Tandem Bikes


©Earl Harper

A friend at the church owns a tandem bike.  He has been after me for some time to give it a go.  I finally got around to borrowing it.  The last time I jumped on such a bike was nineteen years ago when my wife and I were visiting Mackinaw Island.  Sunday was the first time either of our kids rode one.

Tandem bikes are an interesting invention.  They require a great deal of patience and coordination.  It involves communication and focus.

There was a bit of anxiety the first time we jumped on the bike.  One person would turn towards the left; the other person towards the right.  At times, the front person would stop peddling while the rear person continued.  It caused a lot of instability.  The bike would shake back and forth.  On several occasions it seemed as if we were going to topple over.

On one stretch my son wanted to be in the front.  The front person is in charge of steering, speed, and braking.  In essence, they control the bike.  In my opinion, it is also good to have the heavier person in front for balance.  But, I thought this would be a good experience for him.  So, Ryan jumped on the front while I sat on the back.  Needless to say, there were some tense moments.  It took several attempts to get the bike going as it wobbled back and forth between the grass and the sidewalk.  One of us would shift our weight in the seat causing the bike to twist and turn.  He wanted to go faster; I wanted to slow down (primarily because I did not have control in the backseat).  I kept instructing him by barking from the back seat to speed up, slow down, keep it still. Several times we had to stop the bike.

However, once we got going, once we were in sync it was a very enjoyable ride.  It was smooth as both people peddled together.  There was coordination as the front person focused on steering while the back person kept their eyes open for other bikers coming up behind us.  The moments we worked together were the smoothest and most enjoyable.

Our relationship with God works in a similar way.  Too often, we are out of sync with God.  God is moving life along at a particular pace.  Yet, we have a different plan.  We want things to happen quicker or slower.  We are asking Him to speed up, slow down, or keep it still.  Other times He is prompting us to talk to someone, serve in a particular area, or surrender a specific area.  However, we are very happy ignoring these promptings by going in the opposite direct.

We want control.  We want to lead.

When we work against God it leads to a stressful ride.  It is not smooth.  It is tense.  It is confusing.  It does not work when we try to be in charge.  God desires that we work in tandem with Him.  We can choose not to.  However, we should not be surprised when it leads to problems.  It doesn’t mean the ride will always be easy.  We learn through difficulties.  Yet, many of our anxieties and problems would be resolved by simply allowing God to be in control.  Let God steer.  Let Him dictate the pace.  Let Him direct us.   It is much more enjoyable and smooth.



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