Last night, I did something I hadn't done in a LONG time- I went mountain biking. Starting off, I was full of energy, ready to go. I went over the bumps, up hills and down with ease. As time went on, though, the hills got bigger and the bumps got bumpier. As my muscles tired, it got harder to get up the hills and over the bumps. Eventually, I began getting off my bike half way up a hill and walking the rest of the way. After a couple times of that, though, I noticed that coasting down the other side wasn't near as thrilling when I hadn't put in the full effort it required to get to the top. I started coaching myself "get up that hill!" and "Don't give up, you can do it!" "Push! Push!" are some phrases that ran through my head.
Then, as I was pushing through to do my very best on the hills, I noticed that once I got to a flat spot, I just moseyed along, sometimes even coasting. I realized that was not doing me any good. I was there to get exercise and that was not going to happen if I didn't PEDAL! Not only that but I lost momentum for when the next hill popped up!
How often is life like that? We don't push through to get up the hill or over the rough spots and then the reward for accomplishment isn't nearly as great as it can be. The rewards will always seem sweeter if we KNOW we did our very best to accomplish something. And, when life is just cruising along, flat and steady, we just coast through it- don't continue to PUSH and to better ourselves! Then, when the next trial comes, we are completely unprepared for it.
What a lesson- for my physical life and my emotional one! It amazes me time and time again how God speaks to me and where he shows Himself to me.
Oh, and in the very end, as I was coming out of the trail, I started putting on my breaks as I was going down the last steep hill and my tire went right between two roots, got stuck, and I kept going forward, over my handlebars. The back tire came around and smacked me on top of the head. Lesson learned there: always wear a helmet! I had mine on and was very thankful!