Monday started like any other day. I snoozed until 5:15. I always ride my bike to work at that time, darkness is no issue. The rain was an issue that morning, however. This was a deluge. A dark dangerous deluge.
“I’m going to get wet anyway.” I thought
Other drivers were out of their minds that morning! Skidding at stop lights, running off the road into the grass. The cars seemed to be strangely hurrying to get out of the rain. I luckily avoided a large pickup that went right off the shoulder. A dangerous adventure.
Cycling sets the conditions to have a private adventure everyday. This satisfies an innate desire for adventure within all of us. Adventure however, always begins at the point of discomfort.
We read in The Hobbit that Bilbo Baggins forgets his pocket handkerchief and is audibly upset! “Stop Stop, we must go back.” There is no going back. And, of course, much later in the story, we see the transformation that discomfort has had on his identity. He is ready for greater challenges. The end of his comfort is the start of his transformation.
And we read a few chapters later:
“…he was a very different hobbit from the one that had run out without a pocket-handkerchief from Bag-End long ago. He had not had a pocket handkerchief for ages. He loosened his dagger in its sheath, tightened his belt, and went on.” (The Hobbit, J.R.R Tolkien)
When was the last time we had a great change happen within us that was caused by comfort? Probably never.
We all, men especially, want to be tested! We mull over apocalyptic scenarios in our minds and invent situations where we can overcome adversity and display our strength. Furthermore, we seek out that which can help us discover and transform our own identity.
“…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character…”(Romans 5, NIV)
I encourage everyone to bike because of it’s transformational power. Pain and discomfort are a part of that. Private adventure is a part of that. Spending time in the saddle is sometimes an uncomfortable seat in the phase of transformation.
What is your pocket handkerchief? I challenge you to identify it and leave it at home. Have an adventure. Who knows, you may end up discovering who you really want to become.