Life is Like a Bicycle | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
October 2010

Life is Like a Bicycle

By: Nan Hurd

This may sound like a misquoted line out of a famous movie but no…it’s something God’s been speaking to me recently. I live in York, England, which is known as the cycling capital of England. I never cycled anywhere when I lived in Florida because it’s way too dangerous on the roads because the drivers aren’t used to people cycling. In York LOTS of people cycle and it’s a very normal thing. I cycle all the time, everywhere I go. My bike is my car. I even cycle down to the post box, which is a few minutes walk down the road.

When I cycle, God speaks to me. I guess that makes sense. He speaks to me about life through an activity that I love and do loads. I’m just going to take you through a few of the metaphors that He’s shown me and maybe He’ll speak to you through a few of them as well.

On about my sixth birthday I got my first “big person” bike, which of course included a pink basket. I also got a set of sextuplets, which said mama when you pressed them. I decided to go cycling around the block with all 6 babies in the basket and with no training wheels. As I was going around the first curve in the road I realized that I didn’t know how to turn. Now that was unfortunate. On my right was a retaining pond, on my left was a big ditch and in front of me was a lady running. I decided to go straight and ran into the lady, which caused all six babies to go flying. I ended up with a scraped knee and dirty babies but I was going to try again. This is like when you first become a Christian. To begin with you’ve got people around you, like training wheels then eventually you’ll have to start venturing out on your own. And you will stumble. That’s ok. That happens.

I thought when I got older that I wouldn’t fall off my bike anymore but I was wrong. One day as I was cycling from the city by a place near the river that has bars that you have to balance between when you’re cycling. Well I was with some of my friends, it was sunny and we were enjoying life. I didn’t wear my helmet because I like the feel of the wind in my hair. This particular day I didn’t aim properly when I was going through the bars and my pedal got caught which caused my bike to stop. I, of course, kept going and landed on the ground. I was shocked and a little afraid to keep cycling but I had to so I could get home. This made me think that even after you grow and become a mature Christian you will still stumble and it may shock you. God says that’s ok. We stumble and we will always stumble. What matters is what we do after we stumble. Will we stop trying? Will we keep making the same mistake or will we take into account that we’re weak in this area and make choices accordingly? Are you going to protect yourself with truth like I should with a helmet?

Sometimes I really enjoy cycling, like when I went on a 20-mile ride with my friends to an old manor house in York. It was sunny, the fields were golden and bright green, and the smell of spring was in the air. We cycled and when we reached our destination we had ice cream and then headed back. That was beautiful. But I live in England where it’s cold and rainy most of the time. There have been several times when I’ve been cycling home up a huge hill in the rain and cold with what I’m convinced are nearly frostbitten fingers. That’s when I ask myself why I did not pay for a bus! I have to keep pushing up the hill with the wind against me, soaking wet and cold. You see, that’s what it’s like with God. Sometimes it’s the sunny adventure to a beautiful destination and other times it’s the uphill battle with everything against you. God says don’t give up. The uphill battle makes you stronger and it’s only for the moment.

Maybe this week you can spend sometime with God thinking about how your life is like a bicycle. Where are you at? Where are you doing well? Where do you need to improve?

See more devotions from Nan and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.