Thursday, June 05, 2008

My One-speed Cruiser

Life doesn’t move at the car speed. When we zip past wildflowers on the way to work, when we don’t have enough time to see the sun’s shimmer on the creek to our left, we miss out. We fail to notice the subleties of God’s creation. We overlook the good and the beautiful things that God wants to show us.

As a biker and bike-commuter, I’ve realized that sometimes even my 24-speed mountain bike goes too fast. About a year ago—in celebration of a book contract for my upcoming Make Room for Yes (and the power of no)—I bought a simple cruiser bike, a type of transport that fills the streets of Chico, a conveyance preferred by the collegians that ride to and fro Chico State. And so I’ve become enamored with my simple one-speed cruiser. Because there’s one gearing—there’s a top speed and a minimal speed, and they’re not that far apart. I can’t rush. Even when I want to. Even when there’s a staff meeting that’s 20 minutes from my departure. It always takes about 25 minutes to get from home to work. So it’s essentially pointless to rush. I’ve learned not to even try. (And I’ve learned to pray for those who might be inconvenienced by my being late.)

I once heard a quote from a Midwestern farmer that I’ll paraphrase, “I decided to stop hurrying because I realized that I passed by more than I caught up to.” My one-speed is teaching me pretty much the same thing.

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