There are a lot of numbers that govern our lives. The amount in our bank account, our cholesterol and blood pressure, daily commute times, the number of days until a due date, candles on a birthday cake – they all measure something.
Between July of 2009 and the end of August 2010 I lost a total of 170 pounds. I had been morbidly obese my whole life. I was contemplating surgery but through some friends I found a program that worked for me. I maintained a healthy weight loss for four years. Over the last two years I have let 40 pounds creep back on and I am fighting in get it off. My fight currently has me riding a bike.
As a child growing up in a small town I rode my bike everywhere. It was my means of transportation. So fifteen days ago I restarted this childhood adventure. Biking today is a little different than I remember. I now have 24 gears to play with. My wife insists I wear a helmet. I have a bike riding app that measures my distance, speed, calories burned and shows me a GPS map of my route. With each ride I try and increase the numbers; a little faster, a little further, a few more calories burned; small increments but moving the needle toward a healthier body. Hopefully the number on my scale will begin to decrease as my riding numbers increase.
This reminds me of how I want to live my life. Each day I want my earthly journey to take me a little further in a positive direction. We recently had an event at Canterbury: A Conversation on Race and in it we examined and discussed the places where racism is still embedded in our culture and even in our thinking. This issue is centuries in the making and has brought about injustice, hatred, violence, poverty and ruined whole communities.
We had a good conversation but, what’s next? How can we rid the world of this plague? There was discussion about the steps we might take but once again the enormity of the problems, how complicated they are make efforts seem like emptying the ocean with a teaspoon.
However, each day I can do something. Each day I can go a little further in making this world a better place. I can give a little more, say something kind, offer a little assistance. Isn’t this the way we change the world? In small doses, a little at a time? This not only applies to issues of racism but to every aspect of life. Today can I be a better husband, father, pastor, leader, worker, citizen, than I was yesterday.
So today I went a little further on the bike. I hope to go a little further in the journey to be the man I was meant to be. I hope you will join me on the journey!