|Some goat heads found in my running shoes after a recent run along Lake Lowell.|
|If you see this little nasty guy, get your weed spray and go crazy... |
Photo: Forrest and Kim Starr
Pardon me while I get all philosophical for a moment...
Thorns come in all shapes and sizes in our lives. (Yup, I went there.) We get stuck by thorns in all aspects of our lives, often when we least expect it, or at least can't see them coming. We can be cruising along in life just fine and then we hear the deflating sound of the air slowly leaking out of our tires (hissss). Sometimes we have what we need to deal with the interruption, other times, we are left powerless and have to get some help. I've changed hundreds of flats over the years of working as a bike mechanic and as an avid rider, but even I have made the call or taken the long and lonely walk home after I've exhausted my supplies of spare tubes, CO2 cartridges, or patches. I've had to throw away shoes that have been ruined, death by pincushion, only after spending my hard-earned money on them. I've seen friends have their pets hobbled, left limping around by a hidden impalement. Just like the goat-heads, thorns in life can do major harm, working deeper and deeper, or cause recurring "flats" after you think you have the problem fixed. Fortunately, in life and in endurance sports, there is always hope for the next day, the next ride, the next run, the next race, etc. Personally, my relationship with Christ brings me hope. For me, its the only flat-protection I can rely on. I know that even if a puncture occurs, I'm not going to be left stranded, that the wound can be healed and that I can be restored and back on my way in no time.
I have to say that for the past few days I've been dealing with a major thorn. Its hard not to be bitter, to feel hopeless, and have your outlook on the future skewed by the negative impacts of a small but significant set-back. My wife helped me snap out of it, but truthfully, being positive about the future when the thorn is still deeply embedded is very difficult. I had to be reminded of the hope that occurs through the healing of Christ in my life. I also had to be reminded that even in the midst of the lonely walk home, carrying the bicycle in one hand and the carbon fiber super-shoes that make great pedaling platforms but very poor walking devices in the other hand, you're still out there, in the midst of life; and the choice exists to make something good out of that walk or to be scornful and bitter. I've noticed a lot of things when forced to slow down because of a thorn that I would have missed otherwise. In the midst of a set-back, look at in a positive way, if you can, ask Christ to help, and enjoy the moment for what it is, not what it could have been.