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I thought today that I was getting old.
I haven’t ridden my bicycle in a month or more. I ride once a week when the weather is mild. In the summer I get an early start before the temperatures get too hot. But I can’t generate any enthusiasm for riding in the cold. It’s just not fun. December and January have been cold months, and there haven’t been many good riding days. But this afternoon it was sunny and the temperature was 63. I put on my helmet and started out.
As I pedaled up the first hill, I didn’t feel stable. When I got to the top and started down it was worse. This is a long hill with a curve in the road about half way down. I usually enjoy the wild ride, braking only a little on the curve. Today I had no confidence. I applied the brakes all the way down. Now I was worried about myself. Was I getting too old to bicycle? Was I coming down with some dread disease – I’ve been reading a book about a man with Lou Gehrig’s disease, and his first symptom was instability.
The farther I road, the worse it got. I could hardly keep the bike on the road. I felt like I was leaning. I seriously considered turning back.
When I ride I listen to sermons on my MP3 player. I realized that I was having trouble hearing the words of the sermon. There was so much more wind noise than usual. Wind. I looked at the grass. It was waving back and forth; so were the tree branches. I found out later that the wind was 10 miles per hour with gusts up to 25. I was literally being blown off of the road.
In my neighborhood roads follow the curves of the hills, so none of them run north/south or east/west. One minute the wind was at my back, the next minute I was pedaling into a gust. But it was such a relief to know that there was a reason for the feelings of unsteadiness. Gradually I got used to the wind, and I began to pedal faster and enjoy myself more. The last hill before I arrived home I coasted down at full speed. It was exhilarating. I feel young again!
I came across a reference to an old hymn today. I’ve never heard it sung in church but the words are wonderful. It’s called “Be Gone Unbelief,” and the reason I mention it here, is because way back in the mid 1800s this hymn writer was acquainted with one of Dr. D’s principles.
Here is what he wrote:
Since all that I meet shall work for my good,
The bitter is sweet, the medicine is food;
Is that not remarkably similar to “For you, some food acts like medicine.”
Here are the lines that got me interested in the hymn:
His way was much rougher and darker than mine;
Did Jesus thus suffer, and shall I repine?
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