I crashed this past weekend in a triathlon. I was about half-way through the bike leg, and I misjudged a turn which laid me out in a sea of asphalt. Skidding to a stop, my layers of skin were kind enough to save my bike from injury. If only my skin was made of armor.

It was the first triathlon of my 2010 Season. I was not excited to race because I had not trained much, and I was not as prepared as I had been in earlier years on the same course. Even though I was apprehensive, I figured that it would be a good test of where my physical endurance was sitting, and what areas I needed to work on before my long race this August.

Sometimes plans change.

It is incredible how fast life can throw you curveballs. One minute you are upright and making up ground, and the next you are flat on your face dodging traffic. I was at a business conference this past week where the speaker spoke about the downfalls of strategic planning. “The best plans need to accommodate change. You may be driving the car, but did you forget you are driving on a dirt road through a rainstorm? True control is an illusion, and much of life is based on a plan that accommodates change and embraces some blind faith.” In the case of my fall, my back wheel just slipped out from under me, and I was down. The fall took a total of a second.

So there I was laid out on the ground deciding what to do. Should I lay there and feel sorry for myself or should I get up and try to ride back to the transition area?

I stood up and surveyed my skinless arms. No obvious broken bones. My bike looked OK, so I gingerly picked it up and began to ride back. Every movement hurt, but I was determined to get back home.

I made it back where my loving wife gave me a hug, and told me that she would take care of me. My wife must really love me to give me a hug through all that seeping red stuff. She was there to help me carry my burden. What a beautiful thing.

I called my parents (to get even more sympathy) that afternoon and my mother told me a story about when I was young.

At Pagosa Springs, we were staying in a cabin and going fishing.  You were about 1 1/2 and had just learned to run, but holding my hand did not let you go as fast as you wanted to do, so you tore away and your feet went faster than the rest of you and of course, the unavoidable fall happened.  You were all scraped up- arms, face and everything. You were back on your feet before I could reach you and laughing and clapping your hands. You started running again.”

When will I grow up?

Thinking things over from a spiritual perspective, I wonder how many of us as believers think we are truly in control of our lives until something bad happens. When something bad happens we can either get back up, know it is going to hurt for a while and trust God to get us through, or we can lay there in self pity and blame God for the pain.

I know several friends right now that are going through a hard time right now. Life has kicked you to the curb through no major fault of your own. It takes a lot to get back up and make it back to the transition area, but when you do, you will find a loving group of friends ready to help share the burden of your recovery. That is the beauty of the Christian Community. Christ is always here, and he has given us a host of support to help us through the tough times. He wants us to get back up–SMILING.

Even though my race this weekend ended prematurely, I can honestly say I enjoyed the journey. It will make the races that I finish all the more beautiful.

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James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

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