A few months ago I did a radio interview with Moody Radio NW on the biker book, God, a Motorcycle, and the Open Road, arranged by Don Otis of Veritas Communications, and received an email from a Montana listener who recommended a gorgeous stretch of asphalt that skirted Bull Lake. Ironically, just the summer before I’d ridden that road with a friend. It did impress us! I mentioned that to Don, and he said he’d hiked in that area to Rock Lake, only accessible by trail. Yep, our bikes would not have taken us there.
That got me thinking. I love bikes and long tours--their freedom of the open road, the unobstructed vistas, being directly in God’s creation and not sheltered in steel. But bikes can’t take me everywhere I’d like to go. Like this Rock Lake. So perhaps those of us who explore need to broaden our tools.
Walking, and I’ve worn out more than one pair of hiking boots, balances the slow speed with the greatest ability to see details. Bicycles go faster, we still see a lot, but are typically limited to trails and roads. Motorcycles cover yet more ground, require less work, and give great immersion, yet carry danger. Cars offer more protection and storage room, but less visibility. Trains offer covering longer distances and some scenery, but have limited routes. Planes let us cover distances earlier travelers couldn’t have dreamed us, give a God’s-eye view, but little detail. I want to avoid being a one-dimensional traveler.
Maybe we also need to avoid being one-dimensional followers who focus on one primary arena of faith. We sometimes do that—almost obsessing on relationships, or Bible knowledge, or evangelism, or serving, or leading. We can too easily lose balance, like a weightlifter who only works on his forearms and looks like Popeye the Sailor man. Let’s work out our whole spiritual body.
Yes, we have different spiritual gifts and experiences and talents and God will use us uniquely. But I’m convicted by Paul the apostle’s formula for spiritual maturity and effectiveness, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ” (Ephesians 4:14-15).
Balance. I remember a financial advisor telling me to not put all my investment eggs in one basket, but to diversify. Maybe we can do the same spiritually. The goal: to grow up into Jesus. The result: a breadth that helps us stand against storms and false teaching. The tool: to grow in all things. Not just some.
Kick Starting the Application
Do you tend to have one area you stress to the detriment of others? Why is that important to you? Do you sense you may have neglected a more balanced approach to growing spiritually? Ask God to show you how you can broaden your base, and begin with a new area—this week.
PS If you’re an author and could use a great publicist, I highly recommend Don! Here’s his site.