Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why can't we just ride a bike?

   Last week I was driving and happened to go past 2 guys riding bikes. They were average looking guys - probably worked a corporate job and were out on a beautiful Saturday getting some fellowship and exercise. What really got me thinking as I drove past these guys was not what they were doing but how they were doing it.  There was a time when people would just get on a bike and ride - now everyone who is seen riding looks like they have just completed the Tour de France.  They wear shirts and shorts that have logos and the right amount of padding in the right places, they have shoes with clips and helmets with aerodynamic molding. What ever happened to just riding a bike?
   When did we make the turn and now you can't just play baseball you have to be in training.   You can't just play volleyball - you better be in a select club.  You can't just ride a bike, you have to invest an entire college fund to buy a bike.
    I am not opposed to the new clothing and gear, in fact I am very appreciative of my dry lite running gear when it is below 35 degrees and I don't have to be bundled up like a baby eskimo. I  am just reflecting on what has brought us to the point of super extremism.  And, if possible, how do we get off this constantly moving treadmill (you know, the one that allows me to run a 5 minute mile at a 15% incline.)
    There was a day that kids could go to school, they could be involved in a team sport and they still had time to play.  There was a day when a game of backyard kickball didn't require special equipment and a designer ball (or a liability attorney).  How do we get back on the humble biking path?
    In this day of extremism and reality t.v. everyone wants to be a star, to push themselves to go where no one has gone before.  I am a strong believer in raising the standard, in setting high goals and in driving to be the best.  I just think we have gotten a little carried away and we as a society are pushing people away from fun activities because they don't feel like they can compete financially or athletically.
     I think  a big piece of the puzzle is that we are trying to fill a hole that continues to grow larger as we become more extreme and more reliant on our own abilities.  This is a hole that can only be filled by Christ - if not we will continue to chase the - he with the most toys wins theory and be okay with it because it is in the name of health or fitness.
     The extremism to go beyond what most in an honest conversation would say is way too far just needs to stop - so tie up those keds, jump on that schwinn, pick up that wooden bat and just go play.  Invite the neighbors over and use a plain rubber ball, gather your friends and stroll down the street.  Life doesn't have to be over the top - let it just........be.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Once again running in one of my favorite spots - I was processing this word - "airbrushed".   I was on vacation at the Jersey Shore - this year I decided I would go with a tan - so before we left I made an appointment to get a spray on tan.  I arrived at my assigned appointment time and was escorted by a very young girl into my room.  Not knowing what to expect I was a little surprised when I found myself in a 6 x 6 fairly stark room and she looked at me and said you can leave your clothes on that chair, step on these sticky feet and stand on that pad - I'll be back in a minute.  WHAT!!!!!  - Not one of total modesty, having already paid my fee and being a little vain (I was going to the beach) - I complied.  Without too much description here's the brief scenario - standing in this room wearing only my birthday suit a very young girl proceeds to spray paint my body, asking me to hold out my arms, turn around, lean forward, lean back and when it's all done - I'm tan. (This is available for everyone by the way - it only costs about $30 and most of your pride).

Why am I telling you this?  Because as I ran, bronzed and tan, down the beautiful beach, I looked down and noticed that I had white streaks on my arm - apparently spray on tan is averse to sweat - I begin to consider how much a spray on tan is like life,  we want the simple, quick, get it done, make - it - happen answer.  We may not be completely comfortable with the process but we know in the end the look will be complete.  When the job is done we can be in public and all that view us will have an impression we believe will be better, stronger, more likeable.

In reality, it is very obvious to those whose choose to see that I am airbrushed, note the white streaks and orangish non-human tint.  And eventually, usually in about 5 days the tan begins to fade.  The newness and color wears off and I am once again who I really am.  The quick, simple answer is really no answer at all but just a facade for those not really interested - its just a veil, that I can hide behind for a short time, eventually fading to expose me.  I can continue to go see this girl at the tanning place once a week and keep up the illusion, or I can face the reality that my life cannot be airbrushed.

I am in a much better place when I allow people to view me as I really am, when I allow them to see below the surface and experience the real me.  Let's face it, they will all know eventually.  Making that trip once a week becomes exhausting and expensive and not something that I can maintain.

So, even though my skin may not be completely transparent I would like my life to be.
 Matt 11:28  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
1 Corinthians 1:26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Its a blessing to know that God loves me just as I am.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...