As my writing deadline (Dec. 15) quickly approached and just as quickly appeared in my rear-view mirror, I began to cut out some “extras” in my life. One of these was biking. From Dec. 4 to Dec. 23 I did not ride my bike at all.
Last Thursday, Dec. 24 I jumped back on my bike with the intent of easing back into shape. My normal 13.5 mile jaunt would be cut down to approximately four, so that I could slowly get back into shape without hurting my body. This was my intent.
It has been a long while since I preached in a church. I’ve had ample opportunities to speak (camps, Young Life, retreats, guest speaking at Youth Groups and several Youthmark functions); however, filling the pulpit is different.
Back to the biking. With the first hill, I could already feel the effects of having not biked for three weeks. Not only did the scale proclaim the increase in weight, my legs and lungs were complaining with each push of the pedal. By the time I reached the one-mile mark, I was ready to turn around and be satisfied with a two re-entry ride. However, I pressed on.
About a month ago our new Lead Pastor at Faith called me and asked me to consider preaching on January 3, 2010. What an honor. While serving at Boulevard Park I preached about once month, so it really became part of my routine. Every now and then I have missed that part of the routine.
Last Thursday, on the ride, I kept going and the muscles kept aching. For some reason the scenery wasn’t as pretty, the trail seemed longer and everything appeared to be moving a lot slower…hmm, wonder why? At the next most natural stopping point (two miles into the ride) I seriously considered turning around, namely because I was starting to feel a little queazy. However, I didn’t stop, I kept going.
As I approached the 3 mile mark I was feeling rather gross, but had only one big hill to climb to reach my real goal; well that “gross feeling” paled in comparison to the feeling I had by the time I reached the top. Be proud, I did hold back and never did toss my cookies. Though the ride back was slow, I did make it 6.25 miles… 1/2 of my normal “in shape” ride.
I’m taking a different approach with preaching. Though I may not be “in shape” to preach, having not filled a pulpit in over a year. I’m easing in. Within the hour I’ll be done with my outline; I’ve been studying consistently and will continue to throughout the week. I don’t feel winded, I don’t feel achy and I am looking forward to that next hill.
I’m back on the bike (each ride feeling stronger), and now I get to climb back on the proverbial pulpit bike! Can’t wait for Sunday!